In*Situ Architecture was the prime architect of record for the Westside Natatorium and offered the City a team of unparalleled aquatics experience that included Aquatic Design Consultants out of Kansas City. The Westside Natatorium provides the City of El Paso with its’ first 50-meter competition natatorium facility to be used for local and regional competition swim meets. This 15,000+ SF facility is located in West El Paso adjacent to an existing indoor pool building at Galatzan Park. El Paso’s first Natatorium includes locker rooms, office space, concession stand, meeting room, first aid room, and a bulkhead.
The parti sketch of the critical cross-section utilizes a butterfly roof massing that was carried through and refined in its final execution to bring natural indirect daylight deep into the long-span structure. The butterfly roof section is combined with inverted compound trusses that minimize the depth of the structure while diagrammatically expressing its’ reaction to the structural forces at play. In addition, the building is ideally sited with an orientation that minimizes solar heat gain exposure to the building while providing the swimmers and spectators with a panoramic view of El Paso’s Franklin Mountains.
Through the City of El Paso Museum and Cultural Affairs Department's public art program, the In*Situ team collaborated with the internationally acclaimed artist and architect Marc Fornes (Theverymany). to incorporate a major public art component into the architecture itself – framing the entrance to the building with a sculptural canopy entitled “Marquise”. As In*Situ was finalizing the conceptual design for the project, firm founder William Helm, AIA participated in the artist selection panel that resulted in the selection of Marc Fornes for the public art component. Helm and design principal Edgar Lopez, AIA immediately recognized the opportunity for Marc’s work to provide the shade canopy over the main entrance and collaborated with theverymany studio to realize this vision for a public art installation that was integral to the design of the building.
Westside Natatorium Grand Opening Video
El Paso's Capital Improvement
Marc Fornes' Website theverymany
theverymany on Facebook
Location: El Paso, Texas
Project Area: 40,000 SF
Services: Architecture, LEED consulting services
Public Art Installation: Marc Fornes, Theverymany
Program: Recreation Center