Honoring the natural environment inside and out.
When a new developer acquired the Stonehouse Development, the first feature that they decided to add to the planned mixed-use development was a new amenity area that would still preserve and highlight the surrounding natural waterways. The amenity area, later named Laurel Grove Park, was the first phase of an overall master plan that calls for several recreation/park areas, linked via pedestrian and bicycle pathways, to be intermixed with the residential development.
The Stonehouse Recreation Center at Laurel Grove Park is composed of an outdoor swimming pool, children’s pool, pavilion, playground, walking/riding path, and a clubhouse. The primary design intent for both the building and the site amenities was to complement the natural environment. For the building, this meant creating a design that would define the building as a central gathering location for the surrounding neighborhoods, while still blending into the natural surroundings. It was located on a sloped portion of the site to create a simple, low, one-story front façade to address a more residential setting, while still allowing for a two-story rear façade with decks and patios overlooking the pool and outdoor public spaces.
The interior space of the building mimics the exterior organization with two large gathering areas on either end of the building, with a central entry lobby connecting the spaces. The interior finishes honor the surrounding natural landscape, with wood floors, stone tiles, and earthen tones in the color scheme. The design was also intended to take advantage of the scenic views via oversized windows, glazed doors with large sidelights and transoms leading to the adjoining patio area, and the rear two-story deck and patios overlooking the woods, pool areas, and playground.
Ultimately, by reducing the scale of the building and nestling it into the hillside, the visual impact is minimized, allowing the site’s natural setting to be preserved. The floor plan allows for activities to flow seamlessly between indoor and outdoor spaces, blurring the line between the built and natural environments.