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Press Kit
| no: 1456-01
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Press kit - Press release - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign

Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center

Maryland Heights, United States

CannonDesign

An architectural icon for the community that speaks to the future of the city.


St. Louis, United States, 2018-01-11 -

CannonDesign is proud to share the Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center, a new hub for recreational sports, wellness, and civic engagement located in this west St. Louis community, is open. Situated prominently along the city’s beltway and adjacent to Maryland Heights’ outdoor water park, the Center offers a prominent destination for residents with significantly improved space and a greater variety of activity areas for community use over their former facility on the same site.


“We worked very closely with the City Council in developing the design. They believed in the power of this building to be an icon for the community and one that would speak to the future of the city,” said David Polzin, design principal for the project and CannonDesign’s executive director of design. “Lesser foresight from a different group would have yielded a far less innovative solution.”


The requirements of creating a destination center for the community - while achieving it in a hospitable way that mediates the harsh environment of the highway - and preserving usable green space are satisfied in a single architectural ploy of lifting the ground plane and nestling the building into the landscape. This creates a sheltering form while maintaining an occupiable berm that points toward the park.


“The project’s greatest challenge is also its greatest opportunity,” added Polzin. “The building’s proximity to the adjacent interstate highway presented an enormously harsh acoustical environment with noise levels upwards of 90 db, nearly equivalent to the noise of a jet engine. Through the shaping and siting of the building, we were able to create an “acoustic shadow” disrupting the propagation of sound waves from the highway and cutting decibel levels nearly in half. This strategy opened up the possibility for a very expressive architecture.”


The building makes an organic inflection in plan that further shelters the entry plaza to the pavilion, thus protecting the entry experience from highway noise and traffic. At the same time, the transparent façade reveals the public life of the community engaged in its activities of wellness and recreation. The indoor pool is prominently on display in the bulbous south end, maximizing access to sunlight.


The gymnasium occupies the tallest interior volume, its eastern façade clad in a translucent triple-walled polycarbonate façade employed to control noise and glare while also providing natural light by day and the qualities of a glowing lantern at night. Meeting rooms and a preschool are nestled in the lowest portion of the form and have a private courtyard carved in the rising ground plane. In total, a variety of community functions are integrated inside and out of this lifted landscape form.


“The innovation stems from using the building itself to solve not only issues of program but also issues related to the environment,” Polzin explained. “The plan inflection creates outdoor space for community events such as craft fairs and farmers markets, and shelters those activities from the overwhelming noise pressures from the adjacent highway.”


Data Sheet

Official name of the project: Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center

Location: Maryland Heights, MO

Size: 91,800 SF

Completed: 2017

Architecture Firm: CannonDesign

Design Principal: David Polzin, AIA
Photographers: Gayle Babcock, Peaks View LLC, Mark Kemp


More about CannonDesign

CannonDesign is an integrated global design firm that unites a dynamic team of architects, engineers, industry experts and builders driven by a singular goal - to help solve their clients' and society's greatest challenges. The firm's design teams partner with clients across a multitude of industries including healthcare, education, science + technology, corporate/commercial, civic and sports.

In 2017, Fast Company named CannonDesign one of the 10 most innovative architecture companies in the world.

- 30 -


Media contact
Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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23.54 x 13.45
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Very High-resolution image
16.88 x 28.0
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Running track at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit:  Gayle Babcock
Running track at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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16.42 x 7.84
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture -         Interior view of the Maryland Heights public atrium for community engagement - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Interior view of the Maryland Heights public atrium for community engagement
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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16.37 x 11.52
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Interior pool at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Interior pool at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Indoor recreation at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Indoor recreation at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Indoor court at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Indoor court at Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Very High-resolution image
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Gayle Babcock
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Medium-resolution image
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center at night - Photo credit: Peaks View LLC
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center at night
Photo credit: Peaks View LLC
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - Photo credit: Peaks View LLC
Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center
Photo credit: Peaks View LLC
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - David Polzin, Design Principal for the Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center and CannonDesign's Executive Director of Design - Photo credit: Laura Peters
David Polzin, Design Principal for the Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center and CannonDesign's Executive Director of Design
Photo credit: Laura Peters
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Floor Plan - Level 1 - Photo credit: CannonDesign
Floor Plan - Level 1
Photo credit: CannonDesign
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Floor Plan - Level 2 - Photo credit: CannonDesign
Floor Plan - Level 2
Photo credit: CannonDesign
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Building Section - Photo credit: CannonDesign
Building Section
Photo credit: CannonDesign
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Press kit | 1456-01 - Press release | Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center - CannonDesign - Commercial Architecture - Site Plan - Photo credit: CannonDesign
Site Plan
Photo credit: CannonDesign
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