In the small town of Montgomery City, Missouri (population 2,835), basketball draws the community together to cheer their team to victory creating the need for a new competition gym at the Middle School. This new addition and pedestrian plaza provides a new gateway to athletic events. It includes a kitchen and commons that doubles as cafeteria during the day and a preconvene for nighttime events.
Working with a local precast manufacturer, the surface of the concrete enclosure is developed as a bold, durable graphic representation of the school logo, “The Power Cat”, marking the entry to athletic facilities. Expressed as equally spaced, vertical concrete fins, the graphic logo is animated throughout the day with the changing sunlight. Blue glass aggregate (representing school colors) enhances the concrete’s ability to capture light, causing the surface to glisten in the sun.
The new pedestrian plaza escorts visitors behind the school where the athletic fields are located. Outdoor classroom spaces, exterior lighting, native grasses and a stage for performances are incorporated into the plaza to provide flexibility and meaningful learning area for the students. The new gymnasium serves as a backdrop for student and community events like movie screenings and “Drop the Mic” Night.
Materiality, branding, and composition are used to establish a strong, competitive image for the school that results in renewed community pride.