Located on a highly visible site shared with school district facilities, the new 50,000 SF Excelsior Springs facility offers a variety of amenities for community members of all ages.
Inspiration for the design of the community center came from the steeply sloped site, the human body and the city’s mineral water heritage.
Rather than flattening the sloped site, activity zones were organized to step down the hillside. Inside, a ramped circulation spine connects all spaces within the center and acts as an extended exercise path. This path provides a visual connection to the activity areas as one moves through the center.
Similar to the body’s concealed systems (muscular, skeletal, circulatory, etc.), a building’s concealed systems (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, etc.) are essential to its function. Rather than hide these systems, the design highlights and celebrates their contributions to the building’s architecture and operations.
Each building system and activity zone is accented with a distinctive color. In addition to providing vibrant and dynamic environments, the colors also serve as important wayfinding guides within the facility. The color scheme was inspired by the WPA-era Hall of Waters, a beautiful Art Deco building that once served as a bottling facility for the healing, medicinal mineral waters of Excelsior Springs. The building’s architecture and interior design drew from Mayan Indian traditions related to water and water gods. Interior signage, large-scale wall graphics and furnishings were designed and specified by the architect to reinforce the design concept.