Mathews Architecture

Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center

Given our advocacy for sustainable construction and our interest in community design, we have been honored to assist the City in planning for its first LEED™ Certified facility.

The Asheville City Council has mandated that all new buildings over 5,000 square feet meet the requirements for LEED™ Gold Certification. The new Recreation Center at Livingston Street Park will be the first to achieve this new municipal standard.

Located on an underutilized ball field adjacent to an established inner city neighborhood of small homes and public housing and sitting at one of the gateways to the River Arts District, this facility is envisioned as a new prototype of community center.

Master-planned to be built in three phases, it is a facility that will provide a focus not only for recreation but for enrichment of all of the mind, body and spirit. The first phase, reaching completion in the next month, contains the cultural arts component with a performing arts theatre and stage, flexible classrooms, administrative office, lobby, and ancillary support spaces. Future phases will include a health and fitness center with gymnasium, therapy pool and aquatics center, and a community garden, marketplace, teaching kitchen and classrooms.

We have also completed Construction Documents for an outdoor splash park that incorporates the mind, body, spirit theme into its design to built adjacent to the Phase I building.

Set below the road on parkland, the design makes extensive use of vegetative roofing to minimize its visual impact. Rainwater is collected from the roof and diverted to an on-site bio-retention pond. More than 90% of the building is daylight with windows and Kalwall roof panels and nearly 100% of the materials have been sourced regionally.

Working within an extremely limited budget of public funds and private donations, we are excited to have had a hand in designing this new addition to our city and it appears that we will exceed the expectations of City Council and achieve recognition as a LEED™ Platinum Certified facility.