Lone Tree, Iowa, USA
Integrating as many passive design strategies as possible, Neumann Monson Architects has designed the Lone Tree Community Wellness Center which consists of exposed steel and concrete structures that serve as the primary interior finish on the floors, walls, and ceilings.
The Lone Tree Community Wellness Center, located on the town’s main thoroughfare, serves as a gathering place for this town of 1,400 people, not unlike the elm tree for which it is named.
The Lone Tree Community Wellness Center has recently been awarded a 2023 Green Good Design Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The project originated with the Lone Tree Community School District’s need for a wrestling room and full-sized gym.
The wrestling team operated from a poorly insulated metal building while the basketball team squeezed into an undersized space next door.
The process gained momentum with the opportunity to address the community’s health and wellness goals as well.
School and community leaders partnered to engage user groups for input and critique during the planning and design phases.
As a result, they were able to raise the necessary funds for the facility, which the school owns and operates for shared use.
In the new building, a raised indoor track orbits the wrestling/exercise room’s perch overlooking the basketball court.
The building’s language is clear and direct.
Transparent and translucent materials at the street front usher in the town during the day and project users’ movement at night.
Materiality is minimal and durable, with black-painted steel structuring interconnected, daylight spaces.
Sustainably harvested maple wood flooring finished the gymnasium and low and no VOC carpet tile, ceramic tile, ceiling tiles, and paint were used sparely to finish other spaces.
Daylight harvesting is maximized in all wellness areas reducing the use of photo sensor-controlled LED lighting.
Energy use intensity (EUI) was benchmarked at 25% below the code baseline during iterative energy modeling with the help of the local energy company.
The building has surpassed this goal with an actual EUI of 92.9 kBtu/sf/yr, which is 31% below the baseline.
This is in large part due to the simple box form with a window-to-wall ratio of 34%. A solar array on the roof further offsets energy use.
A keen focus on empathetic community engagement and shared values of Iowa pragmatism fueled the design and ownership team’s achievement of a successful, healthy building in an overlooked Midwestern community.
Project: Lone Tree Wellness Center
Architects: Neumann Monson Architects
Client: Lone Tree Community School District
Photographers: Integrated Studio