Robertson Recreation Center
Parks & Recreation Project
The Robertson Recreation Center is a new gymnasium and community center that serves the South Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, replacing a beloved but deteriorated recreation facility. Built on the site of the original “Rob Rec” and funded by the City of Los Angeles, the project transforms the undersized recreation center into a new state-of-the-art gymnasium and community center.
The neighborhood surrounding the recreation center is a microcosm of Los Angeles. The Robertson Recreation Center is centered between different commercial and residential zones, as well as different social groups and housing types. The design team engaged with an active and involved community with many interested parties, leading to two years of design work with significant public input and, ultimately, to consensus for the project’s final direction.
The site, an attenuated triangle bounded by busy traffic on Robertson Boulevard, presented limited opportunities for the large rectangular volume of a basketball court, and the surrounding perimeter of mature Melaleuca trees further limited planning options. In response to the rhythm of the existing landscape, the building’s exterior walls weave around the dripline of the trees to form a ribbon. In return, the trees provide shading for the building, minimizing the use of air conditioning. Open trusses, large windows and clerestory windows provide continuous indirect sunlight, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting throughout the day and further reducing the building’s environmental impact.
The project is organized around a regulation basketball court with supplementary meeting and activity spaces. Outdoor basketball courts, outdoor play structures, and exercise equipment welcome the community into the facility and create opportunities for neighbors to interact and engage with one another.
The new Robertson Recreation Center breathes new life into the community and will be an anchor for the neighborhood for many years to come.