Faye Gray Recreation Center
Hermoso Park, a 50-year-old municipal recreational area located in South Phoenix, serves a multi-generational, close-knit community with playgrounds, sport courts, walking trails, and open green space. Hermoso’s city youth program welcomes up to 100 kids each day for after school meal programs, classes, leadership councils and play. Annual neighborhood gatherings on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day are known to fill the park to capacity each year. A passionate neighborhood association was vital toward making the project a reality.
Originally slated for landscape upgrades, the project grew with additional city funding to include a new a 4,000sf recreation center, an 8,000sf skate park, additional restroom buildings, ramadas, and play areas. The Faye Gray Recreation Center building now sits at the park’s epicenter with a design that stretches a limited program, budget and sustainability mandate to achieve an environmentally sensitive, flexible, and inviting home base for the neighborhood. The project shifts the typical room-by-room city program to a singular space – a gesture of unity and efficiency that includes teen/youth rooms, conference space, story room, computer zones, a warming kitchen, and lounge. The small footprint strives for big impact with abundant light, disappearing walls, intimate gathering spaces, and bright colors. Using millwork to divide areas and eliminate space-intensive storage rooms, the center reads as family room flanked by bright green perimeter walls, in high contrast to the exposed concrete structure yet compatible with the building’s natural surroundings.
“This project is really going to energize the park…the staff is ecstatic. This is a place for kids to go and do what they need to do to succeed at school, but also have fun and just be kids. It is pretty exciting”
Chris Ewell, ASLA, City of Phoenix Project Manager
gbtwo landscape architecture
2018 AIA WMR Design Excellence Award
2016 AIA AZ Distinguished Building
2014 AZ Forward Crescordia Award