The community center is called CMU PARK situated in Memorial Park, Amarillo, Texas, and since Memorial Park is the only large green space in the community, we wanted to return the land occupied by the community center to the residents. Therefore, we wanted to create an ecological, active, and safe CMU PARK out of cold concrete masonry. The huge curved roof gives the residents an unique roof garden and plenty of grey space for activities. The skylights in the roof also allow for convection of air between inside and outside, which, together with CMU’s excellent insulation, gives CMU PARK in hot Texas a cool interior.
Tornadoes are frequent in the area. The sunken courtyard and multi-purpose rooms can be used as a shelter. The small rooms in the community center, like classrooms and offices, can also be used as dormitories for people made homeless by tornadoes. The curved roof makes the building seem to grow out of the ground. Roof gardens and roof paths also enrich the experience. The contoured roof form uses both plant and concrete materials to give CMU PARK a different appearance. On the ground CMU PARK is white, on the roof it is green. The curved roof is also more resistant to tornadoes than a flat roof, providing a safer shelter for people.
In the CMU system, different parts of the wall have different properties. load-bearing walls, partition wall, green wall, urban furniture, and paving. Based on the selected basic units of masonry, we have defined several of the most typical masonry methods. In our scheme, the walls are all curved walls, and in the other three core shelter spaces hyperbolic walls are used. We used the most basic block units, controlling the curves by controlling the width of the mortar joints.