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Minker Recreational Center

Awards Category

Unbuilt Architecture

Project Summary

Minker Recreational Center is a vision for the redesign of the facility’s original program to become a more expanded multi-functional modernized recreation center for its community. The program includes expanded gymnasiums, dance rooms, weight/cardio facilities, racquetball courts and community rooms, indoor basketball courts, locker rooms, meeting rooms, turf field and fieldhouse to serve the neighborhood and host regional tournaments. The new facility offers enhanced experiences, programmable features, and flexible spaces to meet the needs of the multigenerational community.

Project Narrative

As the City of Las Vegas is exploring options for making the highest and best use of the Chuck Minker Sports Complex, the design team assisted the City in developing varied approaches to rebuilding the property to serve the recreation needs of the City’s residents. The existing building originally constructed in the late 1970s reflects the design sensibilities of the time, as well as the approach to addressing the urban fabric that was in demand at that time. The building’s designer responded with a structure that looked inward to safety and projected a blank face to the public. The programming of the building also reflected the consensus of the era, including a gymnasium, a multipurpose room and many racquetball courts. This arrangement needed updating and changing to suit both the programs the community needed in terms of athletics, but also programs that can serve the multigenerational community in other ways. The new proposed facility envisions a modernized and flexible program for a building that can serve as a center for the neighborhood, by including both athletic-centered facilities, and programmable community rooms and classrooms. The building is sited directly on the corner of two busy streets, with the glass enclosed community rooms serving as a beacon to residents passing by in all directions. The main entry faces the parking lot from which a majority of the visitors will approach the facility. The structure welcomes the visitor with open arms, the gymnasium volume on the right and the stone volume containing the dance rooms and weight room to the left. In this plaza is an outdoor sport court which allows. for additional activity when the weather permits. The gentle curve of the roof serves as both a gesture of identity to the community, and also allows for varying heights within the building for the various uses. Within the building, a "main street" connects all of the uses, and is programmable to provide a location for a variety of community based activities from blood drives to job fairs. The cladding at the gymnasium volume is meant to evoke the prupose of the building and also the region in which it located - the sports icons that are currently embedded in the existing building and replicated here, along with a natural, variegated pattern drawn from the topography of the Nevada region. All of these choices together are intended to demonstrate to the community that this structure is for the community, from the city and of the region.

Sustainable Design & Materials

Site conditions limited the building orientation options available to the design team. Instead, the team introduced natural light into the interior through controlled apertures in the facade and roof. The windows of the community rooms face north, and the windows into the dance rooms and the cardio room that do face south are protected with overhangs and deep frames. The materials for the building are intended to either have high recycled content (metal structure, framing, cladding) or be sources locally (stone on south façade). As this is a municipally funded building, durability and permanence are important considerations, and the finishes and materials reflect these priorities.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Date of Completion

Project Location

275 N Mojave Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA

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