Dove Springs

Austin, Texas, 2020

Dove Springs Recreation Center Renovations and Addition

This project grew out of a community disaster that damaged 600 neighborhood houses, completely destroying 250. The Recreation Center was central to the recovery effort; serving as the emergency response center, and organizing relief efforts for federal, state and local agencies. Dozens of displaced families sought temporary housing in the gymnasium.

Dove Springs is largely working-class Hispanic and is a frequent destination for newly-arrived Central-American immigrants. Language and economic fragility were complicating factors in the recovery.

Recognizing its importance to the community, the City parks department committed to improving the recreation center as a community hub. The architects led a community-engagement process, where key values were identified that centered on improving health and improving nutrition. (Obesity is a problem, and Dove Springs has been identified as a food desert).

The project includes substantial renovations to the existing building that bring new and improved activity spaces. And a new addition offers more multi-purpose space while also adding a programmable outdoor space.

The addition is positioned adjacent to, but not touching, the existing building creating a new front door that is at once more welcoming and more directly connected to the park.