The new 106,500 sf building is organized around the core experiences at the center of the Trager Family Jewish Community Center’s mission. It includes the Early Learning Center; fitness and aquatics; and social programming, such as a theater and cafe. These three components – understood as the Mind, Body, and Soul of the institution – are linked by an airy public space at the core of the building dubbed “The Heart.”
The Heart acts as a thoroughfare connecting people to people and people to programs. It helps visitors understand how they access activities and creates a dynamic energy as people see others engaging in those activities. The lobby itself can be programmed for events while still allowing people to flow through and access different parts of the building. But all spaces were designed to have more than one use.
Tikkun Olam ("repairing the world") was used as a concept to highlight a pillar of the Jewish faith without making it cliché. The concept is supported by “piecing together” hexagonal patterns used throughout the project. Hexagons of different materials and purposes are expressed as: ceiling tiles in the lobby and café (their placement forms the Star of David in the tiles’ negative space); in the frit pattern on windows: and in wayfinding and signage.
The concept for the JCC’s Early Learning Center was inspired by the simple shapes of Tangrams puzzles. Different parts of a whole are used to create organization around the PJ Library, J Play (childcare for adults using the center) and Early Learning Center (full time day care for infants - 5yrs old).
The finished space was designed to feel warm and welcoming but leave opportunities for the organization to put their own mark on their home as they grow.
Interior Architecture- Large Scale (>5,000 sf)