MOBILE MAP STOPS 73 – 78
73 – Par 3 Clubhouse
This clubhouse, designed by architect Bruce Adams to be a good neighbor to the nearby First Baptist Church and Richards Elementary School, was built of wood shingle roof and cedar siding.
The simplicity of this building’s form is dominated by the large pitched roof, which is then articulated with a skewed plan, an elongated eyebrow window, and an arcade/loggia overlooking the golf course. A cube on a pole with super graphics adds a striking identity.
The 45-acre golf course landscape features crab apple, blue spruce, scotch pine, and pin oak.
Take me to the Par 3 Clubhouse.
74 – Richards Elementary
Richards School features a distinctive roofline of bold slopes forming a saw-toothed silhouette meant to be reminiscent of the factories of our industrial heritage.
The distinctive high spine of this building is created by the set of four 28-foot high clerestories above the gym and cafeteria in the center of the school. These saw-toothed roofs with skylights provide maximum natural studio-type lighting and additional wall space in the classrooms.
The roof silhouette and small courts break down the scale of this large structure into the appearance of a small village. Note that porthole windows in the classroom doors and other appointments are at a child’s height.
Take me to Richards School.
75 – First Baptist Church
Visitors are welcome to view the interior of this church on weekdays (subject to availability) – all guests must check from the rear parking lot at the visitor entrance, on the west side of the building.
First Baptist Church, designed by Harry Weese, is positioned on the brow of a gently sloping knoll. This elevation, combined with its peaked non-dimensional bell tower, emphasizes the building’s function as a place of worship.
The steep roof, twice as high as the supporting brick walls, is covered with hand-laid slate.
The sanctuary is essentially windowless except for the vertical skylights at the front, which highlight a “pierced” brick wall that screens the choir, organ and baptistry behind and narrow glazed openings between the roof overhang and the brick walls.
Take me to First Baptist Church
76 – Fire Station Four
Of his 1968 fire station, Robert Venturi said, “…(we) worked hard to make Fire Station No. 4…look like a fire station. We consciously made this inherently civic but modest building, not heroic and original; we made it ordinary, conventional, familiar…representing perhaps how a child would think of it.”
Because the living quarters did not require the same building height as the engine apparatus room, a parapet is applied to the facade to simplify and unify the front and enhance its scale.
Referencing the popularity of modernism, Venturi said that most architects of the time would have designed a building to be “monumental more than civic; its relation to its setting, especially that of a small town, would look to be one of bold contrast…the houses around it probably looking meek…”
This was the first public building that was not a school to be supported by the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program.
Take me to Fire Station 4.
77 – Smith Elementary
John M. Johansen designed this innovative school in 1969, featuring brightly painted steel ramps which came to be called the “gerbil tubes,” connecting the levels of the reinforced concrete and bronze-tone corrugated steel structure. Johansen’s son, Christian Johansen, designed the expansion and renovation in 1997.
While the brightly colored metal circulation tubes are what make this elementary school unique, it is the distinction between the heavy concrete “fixed” elements (seminar rooms, faculty offices, and carrels) and the lightweight, brightly-colored, sheet metal elements (classrooms and specialty rooms) that radiate out from a central courtyard that made this school design so innovative.
The school begins with the primary classrooms at grade level and ascends to higher levels and upper grades, culminating with the media and computer center at the top.
In response to some public criticism of the building’s design, a ten-year-old student at Smith wrote, “Not one child disagrees with the design of our, the town’s, school building…We, the kids, love it!”
Take me to Smith School.
78 – Four Seasons Retirement Center
Four Seasons is a retirement community with assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care. Located on 25 acres of landscaped grounds, there are 78 residential one-level style apartments with vaulted ceilings, large windows, private patio, bath, and kitchen.
Every apartment opens into a corridor connecting the 12 wings, each of which has a lounge area. Transom windows at the and of each corridor provide natural light. Centrally located in the complex is an A-framed brick and shingle chapel, peaked with a skylight and ball housing.
The spacious dining area is located under a large skylight that provides a pleasant atmosphere, including natural interior plantings.
Take me to Four Seasons