WeHo ARC Earns Athletic Business Facilities of Merit Award

New aquatics and recreation center in West Hollywood receives national honor for design that resolves complex space challenges to bring together a diverse community.

The LPA-designed West Hollywood Aquatics & Recreation Center (ARC) was recently recognized by Athletic Business magazine as one of ten 2023 Facilities of Merit Award winners. The award recognizes “the world’s best new and recently renovated athletics, fitness and recreation facilities,” evaluating projects based on plan efficiency, functional relationships, space maximization, interiors, detailing, relationship to site and exterior design.

The ARC was the final phase of a masterplan for the park and community buildings at West Hollywood Park. The main goal of the project was to create a state-of-the-art community recreation and aquatic facility while taking the bulk of the square footage out of the park, creating more contiguous open park space in an extremely dense community and developing spaces to serve the diverse needs of the community.

The four-story facility provides a new center for social and recreational activity for the City of West Hollywood’s 35,000 residents. The design supports health and well-being with indoor and outdoor recreation and wellness spaces tailored to the specific needs of the community, including a multi-purpose gym and outdoor recreation and yoga decks. The project’s signature, a three-story outdoor grand stair, links the open space of the community park to raised observation and recreation decks and a rooftop aquatics center which connects to existing tennis courts. LPA engineers designed a system to suspend the pools over the gym to maximize the space.

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“The ARC is the direct result of a collaborative process with the community,” LPA Design Director Rick D’Amato said. “It is a one-of-a-kind facility specifically for West Hollywood.”

LPA’s design process brought together a diverse community, including a robust senior population, vibrant Russian immigrant population, movie stars and entertainers, athletes and one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the state. Integrated planning and an innovative structural design support a diversity of community uses through flexible, multi-use spaces. Connections to West Hollywood Park bring community-rooted arts, athletic and leisure activities together in a multi-layered public space.

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The ARC is the direct result of a collaborative process with the community, it is a one-of-a-kind facility specifically for West Hollywood. - Rick D'Amato, LPA Design Director

“The ARC responds to the unique character and needs of West Hollywood, using an ultra-efficient design to return space to the newly revitalized West Hollywood Park,” said LPA Director of Sport + Recreation Arash Izadi.

The Facilities of Merit Award is the latest of several honors LPA has received for the ARC. Previously, the project received an Award of Excellence from the California Parks & Recreation Society (CPRS), a Sustainable Innovation Award from the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Los Angeles Chapter, an Honor Award and COTE Honor Award from the American Institute of Architect (AIA) Orange County Chapter, a Los Angeles Business Council Award, and an AIA Long Beach/South Beach Citation Award for unbuilt work.

Winning projects are featured in the October print issue of Athletic Business and at AB Show 2023 in Baltimore, with a special awards reception taking place at the American Visionary Art Museum.