Kenilworth Recreation Center-Community Engagement, Wellness, and Local Art

Start Date
End Date
For over ten years the Kenilworth-Parkside community in NE, Washington, DC was without a central place for neighbors to play and gather for planned activities. Through multiple community visioning workshops and stakeholder charrettes, Kenilworth Elementary School, which had been closed for years, was transformed into the new 31,400sf Kenilworth Recreation Center with pool and seasonal pool house.Working with a close-knit community with deep history, early community engagement was critical to the project’s success and longevity. By listening to what programmatic elements the community wanted early in the design process and having an open dialogue, the design team was able to incorporate specific amenities and state-of-the-art features that generated excitement for the residents. The building program includes a new gymnasium, fitness center,boxing ring, a multi-purpose room, lounges, and a demonstration kitchen,accented with colorful signage and stained concrete floors.The architecture also is enhanced with original artwork by local DC artists, which inspire people to visit the recreation center regularly, learn about the neighborhood history, and be immersed in hopefulness and excitement.
Washington, DC
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Housing & Community Design
Project Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1. Understand how the evolving population and infrastructure changes affected the Kenilworth community and the challenges that persisted.
2. Identify the benefits of early community engagement and visioning workshops.
3. Demonstrate how architecture and local art can be integrated to enhance community involvement and inspire the pursuit of health and wellness at all ages.
4. Give specific examples of quality amenities and programming at Kenilworth Recreation Center that can be used as precedent for other facilities.
David Bell, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, BELL Architects, david.bell@BELLarchitectsEleanor Choi, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Project Architect/Project Manager, eleanor.choi@BELLarchitects.comCoakley Williams Construction representative-TBDDPR representa
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Course Codes
Potomac Chapter ASLA

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