CLAD Global has published a glowing review of CannonDesign’s work with the Maryland Heights Community Center located outside St. Louis. The article features numerous project images and commentary from David Polzin, the project’s design principal. As the story indicates, the original project brief called for “a destination centre for the community of Maryland Heights, offering a variety of uses and preserving the site’s usable green spaces while mediating the harsh environment of (a nearby) highway.”
To achieve this, the ground plane was lifted and the building was nestled into the raised landscape, offering shelter while maintaining the stretch of land connecting the site towards a neighbouring water park to the north.
“The project’s greatest challenge was also its greatest opportunity,” Polzin told CLADglobal. “The building’s proximity to the adjacent highway presented an enormously harsh acoustical environment with noise levels upwards of 90 db, nearly equivalent to the noise of a jet engine.
“Through the shaping and siting of the building, we were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ disrupting the propagation of sound waves from the highway and cutting decibel levels nearly in half. This strategy opened up the possibility for a very expressive architecture.”