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Reggie Rodriguez Community Center
Montebello, Calif.
Sparano + Mooney Architecture

This welcoming refuge provides reprieve for the disenfrancised

© Toshi Yoshimi

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

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This project was commissioned to provide a central location for the at-risk youth population in the City of Montebello, east of downtown Los Angeles. A key component of the five-year revitalization effort for Montebello, the new community center provides activities and services for disadvantaged families. Services include alternatives to drug use and gang violence, mentoring opportunities for young Latinos, healthcare services and health education programs, and computer training workshops. Two rooftop decks and a multi-purpose room provide areas for community gatherings. The center is sited within the 11-acre Reggie Rodriguez Park and is surrounded by a residential area.

The community center was conceived as a physical expression of the often perilous passage from adolescence to maturity. A combination of active and reflective experiences are present from porous public spaces extending out into the park, to the more introverted and cloistered areas for concentrated work study and growth.

The ambiguity of the building envelope questions the boundary of what lies inside and out; it also establishes an architectural framework of opacity and transparency. The architects positioned the building to encourage "walk-in" traffic from the park visitors moving along the central sidewalk. The open spaces near the entrance were designed for public programs taking advantage of the Southern California climate, which allows for year-round outdoor activities.

When the center is open, two large doors roll away, dissolving the boundaries that separate the interior from the outside. Views extend straight through the building during the day and night, when the light from the lobby is filtered through the facade’s perforated metal screen, spilling light into the park.

Formal name of Project:
Reggie Rodriguez Community Center

Montebello, Calif.

Gross square footage:
6,500 sq. ft.

City of Montebello,
Mario Guerra, Director of Recreation and Community Services,
Richard Torres, City Manager

Sparano + Mooney Architecture
8405 Pershing Drive Suite 405
Los Angeles, CA 90293-7860
(310) 301-0406 telephone
(310) 301-0506 facsimile


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