The BASE leverages baseball as a vehicle for engaging urban youth in a rigorous, passionate, and success-driven environment, with the goal of excellence both on and off the field. AW provided all design services for The BASE on a pro bono, with the goal
of making architecture a key player in their mission, and success. AW began by asking how can architecture be an agent of change for an urban non-profit on a shoe-string budget? The response is a deep intervention within an existing urban warehouse, a robust new space that will accommodate its superior baseball training program and its personalized educational resources, ensuring its sustained success. The BASE’s goal to help each young person find their “Winning Game Plan for Life” begins by offering a safe, active, and inspired space for urban youth.
The BASE’s philosophy presumes that education, sports, and personal growth are inextricably connected. This inspired a design that is a collage of open and overlapping program spaces for athletics, training, academics, and social gathering. No single function is considered more important than another. The design must be familiar, accessible, and inviting. As a result, customary strict boundaries between program parts are softened, or even omitted. Playground materials (chain link, synthetic turf, concrete, plywood) transform the ordinary into the extraordinary by redefining the classroom, the field, and the community room as shared resources that delight and welcome the student athletes who are the heart of The BASE.
AW research and programming included early visioning and programming exercises with staff and students. We analyzed spatial adjacencies and sequential programming to ensure most efficient use of all facility spaces, developed a dynamic project program that is inherently flexible and adaptable, and generated concept designs for use in fundraising. The BASE’s new facility will catalyze the organization’s sustained growth as an essential element of its mission to support young people in need, expanding programming, inspiring partnerships, and building community.