The 15,000 s.f. Community Center building was designed to offer a variety of recreational, cultural and educational activities for all age groups of the Newark community within an informal environment of comfort and beauty. The facility includes a Social Hall, Games Room, Meeting Rooms, Arts and Crafts Studio, Art Display Gallery, Snack Lounge, Club Room, Kitchen, multi-leveled terraces and administration spaces.
The design of the Community Center building, with its wide overhangs and sloping cedar-shingled roofs provides a domestic character sympathetic to the surrounding residential area. Its scale is pleasantly reduced by the informal manner in which it nestles into the mounded site so that it becomes a good visual neighbor and an asset to the beauty of the adjacent community park and the neighborhood.
Several interior planted areas, under skylights, bring a garden-like atmosphere to the interior. A series of louvered clerestory windows at the intersection of roof planes provide pleasant interior daylight and is, as well, an effective design feature as seen over the fireplace lounge area in the main lobby. Outside terraces are developed in a series of levels to create a sunken garden effect for use as a variety of activity areas, visual interest, as well as protection from the wind. The broad steps provide seating for amphitheatre-type activities for small or large groups, while a redwood trellis between two main terrace levels provide a shaded and protected area.
Construction of the building utilizes materials chosen for their aesthetic, as well as utilitarian characteristics and are such that will require little or no maintenance. An integrally red colored, textured concrete block masonry predominates. Floors are integrally terra cotta colored concrete and employ an imbed hydronic system of radiant heating. Naturally colored sand finish plaster and acoustical plaster on ceilings provides a visual continuity and spacious character. Exposed trusses of naturally stained wood with color accents provide massive scale and dignity to the larger meeting and activity areas.
All interior furnishings were designed or selected by the Architect in order to harmonize with the building design and to create an informal, relaxed, residential character comfortably inviting to its users.
The presentation renderings for this project were prepared by John Howe, a long-time associate and Chief Draftsman for Frank Lloyd Wright, who for three years was a member of the Aaron Green Associates office.