The Sorrento Mesa master-planned development in San Diego offers new houses to meet a variety of needs. Condominiums. Town homes. Large, single-family detached homes. Bungalows. To meet the wide-ranging needs of the residents, developers created the 3Roots Wellness Center, a new-home amenity that offers fitness and recreation services for everyone.
The 3Roots Wellness Center gives a community a hub for fitness
The 12,409-square-foot metal building system from Nucor Building Systems, Waterloo, Ind., is a simple building made sophisticated with the addition of a 2,700-square-foot mezzanine, two-story curtainwalls on opposite façades, large canopy overhangs and an oculus in the roof pierced by a 50-foot ficus tree.
Award judge Tima Bell, Assoc. AIA, founding principal, Relativity Architects, Los Angeles, said, “It’s a [metal building system] transformed.” All the judges identified the decision to express the metal building system elements as strong influences on their decision to award the 3Root Wellness Center a 2023 Metal Architecture Design Award in the Metal Buildings category.
Architect of Record, Andrew Carlos, AIA, Carlos Architects Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., has worked with metal building systems quite a bit for the Department of Defense. In those instances, “it’s common to express the structural elements as much as possible. There’s some sincerity to that. Usually clients want to cover it up.”
Cory Hazlewood is vice president of construction for the general contractor, C&S Construction, Mission Valley, Calif. “We worked to ensure that we could create an industrial look within the community that had some creative architectural styles,” he says.
It is the ficus tree and the oculus that draws the eye. Landscape designer, SWA Group, Laguna Beach, Calif., planted the tree well before construction and the building was erected around it. According to Carlos, the tree was planted right after the foundation was poured. “There was construction activity around the tree for the next year. The construction team did a great job of protecting it.”
That wasn’t the only challenge facing the construction team. The mezzanine needed to withstand high loads because of the gym equipment that was placed there. Hazlewood says they spoke with the company contracted to operate the gym to ensure they got the sizing correct. The interior was designed by Dahlin Group, San Diego.
The building owners were reluctant to have an external gutter system because they thought the box along the eave edge and the downspout detracted from the visual impact of the building. C&S worked with Nucor to put together several mock-ups and completed an internal gutter system that drained directly to the stormwater management system.
On one end of the building, the large canopy covers a patio where residents can gather in the shade and sit around the ficus tree. The soaring curtainwall breaks down the barrier between the indoor and outdoor, which is further reduced by large bifold doors. The opposite end of the building also features a canopy providing shade and giving a strong profile to the building. The curtainwall there allows access to the pool area.
“If you look at the building, it’s like its draped with the skin over this structural skeleton,” says Carlos. “Then, we utilize the frame and extend it past the interior potion to capture the open space and shading. The roof element covers this community patio area and, in California, it’s all about the indoor/outdoor living.”