Heights O.K.2 Clubhouse

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2016


The Heights O.K.2 Clubhouse is a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of SW Washington.  Comprising 13,400 sq ft, the building houses game, education and art rooms; a teaching kitchen; a gymnasium; and other spaces that support a positive, safe environment for youth to gather for after school and summer activities.

Situated within an established neighborhood, the clubhouse is close to schools and other residential areas to provide easy pedestrian access.  The design of the building took into account a future adjoining building for the Vancouver Housing Authority, and the parking accommodates both current and proposed future needs.  The aesthetic of the exterior draws inspiration from the surrounding neighborhood, but expansive glazing and signage on the street-side make it clearly visible and identifiable when approaching the building.

The interior of the building is focused on creating a fun and functional environment for the youth and staff.  In addition to bright colors and graphics, natural light permeates the building, creating an inviting environment.  The main hall doubles as a gathering area for students, containing areas for backpack storage and space for students to work on homework and receive mentoring/tutoring.  Equipped with a padded floor, the game room is a comfortable space for youth to play games.  Clear visibility and easy wayfinding are important factors of the design.  From the front desk, staff can clearly see the entrances to each of the areas, and each area has designated staff space.  It is anticipated that the building will receive LEEDTM Silver Certification.

Designing with Intention

The goal of the building’s design was to provide a fun, flexible, and safe environment for kids to play and learn.  Take a closer look at some of the program spaces to see how this was accomplished.

The Game Room is designed as an open area for multiple types of games with a desk for staff/supervision.  Large cabinets were designed for holding games and other equipment.  The athletic flooring material was chosen for because it is comfortable for sitting and standing and is easy to clean.

The Hall provides flexible break-out types of spaces. Area for individual tables near the large windows gives space for kids to do homework (sometimes with tutors).  There are electrical outlets on the exposed columns to plug in electronic devices.  As the main access to many of the other program spaces, the design of the Hall allows staff members to see all entrances from the front desk.

The Teaching Kitchen is residential in nature to teach kids how to prepare meals at home.  It also is used to provide snacks for the kids.

The Art Room has a plentiful natural light and access to the outdoors, including lawn and patio areas.

Passive Design

Passive design strategies regarding lighting, heating and cooling revolve around building configuration and using quality daylighting to reduce dependence on electric lighting.

  • High activity spaces were placed on the east side of the building to take advantage of the cool morning sun.
  • Storefront glazing along the east side allows daylight into the building. The hallway provides a buffer for the classrooms, allowing indirect light and reducing glare from direct light.
  • Along the storefront, glare from reflections is reduced by exterior landscaping.
  • The gymnasium is placed on the west side of the building to limit heat gain into the classrooms. With a future addition, the gymnasium will be surrounded on three sides, reducing heat loss and gain.
  • High transom windows in the gymnasium assist in lighting the gymnasium, mitigating complete reliance on high output electric lighting for small tasks or quick use of the space.
  • Low occupancy and utility rooms are placed along the north elevation where amount of daylight is reduced.