The infirmary at Camp Frank A. Day in East Brookfield, MA is the social heart of a campus that hosts a sleep-away summer program for children ages 7-15. During the summer, some children come to be treated for sprains, cuts or fevers; others visit during bouts of homesickness or stop by to visit friends.
This YMCA Health + Wellness Center takes advantage of the existing social dynamic of the camp infirmary, and positions the Health and Wellness center as a place for promoting health in addition to treating the sick. A shared deck and oversized stair become a social platform that joins the figural buildings of the infirmary and the wellness center. The open plan of the infirmary encourages social interaction in the patient area. The wellness center promotes healthy lifestyles at camp by providing programmed spaces for fitness, yoga, seminars and cooking classes. The building’s flexible layout and movable partitions also allow it to be used for events and retreats year-round.
The buildings engage with their wooded surroundings through massings shaped around the locations of significant existing trees, views to the lake and sky, and a material palette of red cedar slats and marine-grade plywood panels. The red cedar envelope is composed of rhythmic vertical strips, a mirror of the surrounding trees, and slotted openings in the facade cast dappled shadows on the interior spaces.