Civic: Black River Neighborhood Center

La Crosse, WI

The 7,000 square foot facility serves as a gateway to the beachfront and its many amenities, including a swimming area, sand volleyball courts, accessible fishing pier, children’s play areas, and covered picnic space. The building has a large multi-purpose room with magnificent views of the river, a craft room, a computer classroom, administration space, restrooms, and outdoor showers. The inviting entrance to the Center offers a view of the river as visitors approach it. The scale of the building is reduced by manipulating the gable roof forms and clever detailing of the exterior materials.

Sustainability was a key component in the planning of this building.  Large operable windows are used to provide views to the beach, natural lighting, and ventilation for the building.  The roof was designed with overhangs to provide shading from the sun.  A solar panel system is utilized to meet the center’s requirements for domestic water heating.  The net result is an energy efficient community resource that is available year round for a variety of uses.