Academy of Art University
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Age Group and Sports Demographics Analysis
Site Findings
Existing Parks Observations
program diagram
Site plan
Structure and Detail
Circulation Diagram
Presentation model
Presentation model
Stacking Fields

Stacking Fields

Exercising Spaces and Facilities for Oakland

Bachelor of Architecture Thesis Project

Ethen Wood, AIA
Philip Ra, AIA
B.Arch Thesis Award

As Oakland continued to grow, parks were considered an essential public infrastructure in the early 1900s. However, not every city park has received the same level of attention and investment. Due to regional characteristics, areas with fewer parks are often close to industrial areas, freeways, and areas covered by harmful gasses. This problem is particularly evident in the West Oakland area.

According to research, the health conditions of the West Oakland population are influenced by the environment and lack of exercise, resulting in higher rates of asthma, high blood pressure, COPD, and heart disease. The life expectancy of the residents in West Oakland is much shorter than the residents living in other parts of Oakland. The lack of public exercise spaces does not guarantee people’s daily outdoor recreation and becomes one of the factors affecting people’s physical and mental health at the same time.

The project is to provide exercising spaces and facilities to the cooperative to guarantee local residents’ daily outdoor exercise and promote physical and mental health at the same time. Reducing the project footprint will be necessary. Therefore, stacking the programs becomes the design strategy which also allows a new park design around the project. The design is inspired by the dynamic characteristics of exercise, creating multiple slopes suitable for walking through the tensioning and stretching of a simple frame. The ways people walk uphill combined with the stacking program, the flow of the building will simulate an uphill zigzag path. The use of glulam timber, composite concrete structure, and thin steel mesh replace the traditional guardrail, better emphasizing the goals of the project.

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