The Bower Activities Center (BAC) presents a bright hub of activities and healing programs at the Youth Villages Pastoral Campus. Originally designed to house only the Food With Class program – an educational class where teens learn to develop teamwork and professional skills in a commercial kitchen – and a few other support services, the scope of the design quickly grew. expanded as youth villages identified the opportunity for a more holistic activity center that could complement the services provided in residential, educational and recreational facilities on campus. New amenities offered by the BAC include a dance and yoga studio, a climbing wall, a training room, a drum therapy room, a theater room, an art room, outdoor pavilions covered basketball and picnic area, lounge, consultation rooms, and dental and optometric treatment rooms.
Situated at the top of a gently sloping hill at the junction between residential “chalets” and school buildings, the BAC negotiates different scales with dueling single-sloped roof plans. Where the roof ends at its lowest point, the steel trellises reflect the slope, again widening the shape of the building outward and upward while providing shade for the square, terrace and interior spaces. The exposed glued laminated timber beams, the wooden roof decking and the plywood wall panels provide a feeling of warmth and tactility. A large central skylight, interior view windows and central axes that end with outward views allow enough daylight to be shared between the spaces. These characteristics are intended to promote unity and a shared experience among the unique programs offered within the BAC. Two pavilions stand across the street, serving as covered outdoor spaces for picnics, gatherings, group therapy sessions, basketball games and everything in between.