Racine Family YMCA - West Branch

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

Our strategy with this building concept was to differentiate ourselves with an economic design utilizing a delicate, glass and steel structure.

The YMCA’s program included the design and landscape plan for a sustainable, LEED certified family sports oriented building with lap pool, indoor fun pool, daycare center, workout facilities, gymnasium, running track, administration offices and wellness center.
The challenges faced in designing this 81,706sf facility was the articulation of large, ‘big box’ components to house contiguous gymnasiums and pools while providing an elegant, economical and sustainable solution for the community.

The YMCA’s limited funding lead us to the idea of using a customizable, pre-engineered, recycled steel building system with enhanced compositions utilizing glass and steel, suggesting high-end design solutions. This simplified the structural and building envelope scope, combined engineering and construction cost final numbers and provided significant savings to the YMCA and their investors.

Our design allowed for portions of the facility to be built as one-story with heightened ceilings, allowing for future second stories as the program expanded.
The end product was a design that provided the YMCA and community quality architecture that exceeded expectations of the standard tilt-up concrete facility and reduced construction costs and time.

Gridwerk Architecture
Associate Architect
Design Collaboratives, Inc.
  • Buro Happold
  • Butler Manufacturing
  • Conservation Design Forum
  • Innovative Aquatic Design, LLC
  • WMA Consulting Engineers
Racine, WI