The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Designed to be a place for self-improvement and community connections, the 123,000-square-foot Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, opened in May 2009, represents one part of a program initiated by a $1.8 billion gift from the late Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. The facility sits in an area of northern Idaho, with a population of around 44,000, and more than 20,000 members signed up in the center's first year, attesting to its success.
Meant to advance the meaning of a recreational center, the Kroc Center successfully combines community functions, from a chapel, education center and performing arts facility to recreation, fitness and aquatic amenities—all in a single, all-encompassing complex, resulting in considerable operational savings and increased usage.
The facility's design connects interior and exterior spaces with corresponding uses. The entry lobby is accessed by a generous, richly landscaped drop-off, entry plaza and bridge structure, and the secondary entry is adjacent to an outdoor gathering area, fireplace and bike parking area. "The Lodge" living room is adjacent to an outdoor patio, fireplace and gardens. An indoor playground and babysitting room complements the outdoor playground. The worship theater is connected to an outdoor amphitheater, and a community room is adjacent to an outdoor patio and waterfall, which creates a perfect photo backdrop. The gymnasium has proximity to 38 acres of municipally operated sports fields, and the indoor leisure pool is immediately adjacent to an outdoor sun deck and whirlpool.
The center includes a 400-seat worship theater that doubles as a performing arts space. Community rooms provide a space for corporate events, meetings, birthday parties and other social events, with a commercial kitchen and catering department to provide food. A game room includes Nintendo Wii units, and the center also features a recording studio.
The 14,000-square-foot Multi-Activity Court gymnasium is large enough for three team sports to use the facility simultaneously, including basketball, volleyball, soccer and floor hockey, with additional space for 240 spectators. This space can also be combined for large events, such as graduation ceremonies, and can hold more than 1,000 participants.
Other amenities within the facility include a 25-yard by 25-meter 10-lane competition pool, an indoor family-oriented leisure pool with waterslide, lazy river and zero-depth beach entry, a group fitness studio with a spring-loaded floating floor, a rock-climbing pinnacle, an indoor walk/jog track, a 5,350-square-foot fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds with a child-sitting facility.
Located on a 12-acre site, the welcoming center features local materials, including stone, CMU, wood, glulaminated timber, tinted and insulated glass, and corrugated metal sidings. The materials suggest a contemporary, industrial character, which responds to the informal personality of the region.
The site presented a unique challenge to the design team, a former 30-foot-deep gravel pit, which was filled to the desired level of construction grading with roughly 1 million cubic tons of engineered earth. The design team oriented the building to present a welcoming and easily accessed facility.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.kroccda.org
W H A T T H E J U D G E S S A I D
"Beautiful use of natural materials create a very inviting facility."
"The Kroc Center includes a fabulous selection of materials and colors inside and out. I loved the patterns of the stone façade, along with the choice of wood structures and finishes that complemented it. The landscape with the dry creek bed entrance is a nice finishing touch."
"Beautiful project. Very dynamic plan design, well articulated by the elevations. Great job on the scale of the building and relationship to the outdoor spaces. Love the wood and stone. Well done landscape…"
A S S O C I A T E D F I R M S
Architect of Record: Architects West
Design Consultant: Miller Stauffer Architects
Mechanical: The Ballard Group
Civil: Frame & Smetena
Structural: DCI Engineers
Electrical: Reese Engineering
Landscape Architect: Landmark Landscape Architects
Aquatics Consultant: Water Technology Inc.