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Frank and Dorothy Grisanti Gymnasium
at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
Santa Monica, Calif.
Pica & Sullivan Architects

Prefab materials used with innovation in this state-of-the art gymnasium

© Randall Michelson

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

To see the people and products behind this project click on 'people & products.'

This recently opened sports center features a gym, a new competition pool, and a multi-purpose playing field. The 23,724-square-foot double gymnasium includes exhibition basketball and volleyball courts and bleacher seating for 800 spectators. When the bleachers are retracted, the gym is converted into two full-size basketball courts and three practice volleyball courts.

In consideration of initial and long-term construction costs and the client’s aesthetic standards, the architect studied different building methodologies. It was determined that the least expensive method for the construction of the long-span gymnasium portion of the building was an off-the-shelf prefabricated metal building. This is the same kind of building used to house manufacturing plants and warehouse facilities. The product rated well in terms of cost and ease of construction. The challenge was to create a design that could transcend the common appearance (and association) that prefab metal buildings evoke.

During the design process, the architect discovered that prefab buildings are actually a kit-of-parts with interchangeable wall and roof types. The design became a compositional challenge of rearranging and interspersing the "parts" to create a more festive, event-oriented appearance. The team furthered the conception by extending the "skin" materials from the prefab building to the conventionally framed sister, a two-story portion that contained accessory spaces and a 4,000 square foot community room. This extension was achieved by wrapping the two-story structure with similar exterior materials in a cloth-like fashion.

Formal name of Project:
Frank and Dorothy Grisanti Gymnasium at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences

Santa Monica, Calif.

Gross square footage:
23,724 sq ft

Total construction cost:
$3.7 million

Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
1714 21st Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Pica & Sullivan Architects, Ltd.
1036 South Alfred Street
Los Angeles, CA 90035
fax 323-653 0531

Maureen Sullivan & V. Joseph Pica


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