Eastside Recreation Center

Eastside Recreation Center


The Eastside Recreation Center was intended to serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment and revitalization of a 38 acre, post-industrial site at the edge of the historic downtown of Ypsilanti, MI (originally scheduled for completion in January 2016, the project was cancelled when significant soil contamination was uncovered on site).

Situated along the Huron River and connected with an Olmstead Brothers (1913) park by way of a recreational bike and pedestrian trail, the project serves as a gateway to a regional park and river system. It also serves an important urban role by extending the street frontage of Ypsilanti’s historic downtown corridor.

Recreational program includes two pools, a gymnasium and an elevated track. The design of the building presents an architectural extension of the canopy of trees on the riverfront site. Caught between a constructed landscape and a canopy roof, recreational activities are centralized between the pools, check-in and gym activities, while visually continuous with the river and park beyond. The elevated track allows one to travel through the depth of the canopy roof structure above, moving through the gym and entry spaces with constantly changing views between inside activities below and elevated views of nature outside. Framed within an urban face along Michigan Avenue, and a river face, that acts as a porch, the recreation center spatially links the life of the city, the park and the Border-to Border trail. The design is an extension of the park system that promotes social interactivity, transparency to the city, and a connection to the Border to Border trail.

Project Details

Project Location | Ypsilanti, Michigan
Principals in Charge | Craig Borum, FAIA, Jen Maigret, AIA,
Collaborator | María Arquero de Alarcón (MAde Studio)
Design Team | Cailiegh Mackellar, Annie Martin, Andrew Wolking, John Monnat, Geoffrey Salvatore, Catherine Baldwin, Leigh Davis, Kathryn Drietzler, Chaerin Jin, Kayla Lim, Alex Timmer, Catherine Truong 
Structural Engineer | SDI Structures
Civil Engineer | Mannik Smith Group
Aquatics Consultant | Counsilman Hunsaker
Collaborator | Integrated Design Solutions


AIA Michigan Honor Award 2013