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Oakland Rec Center Harbinger of Revitalization, Re-use

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ELS Architecture and Urban Design are once again taking-up arms for urban change. The Berkeley-based firm responsible for the renovation to the Sunset Cinemas Kabuki— the newly-mortised cornerstone of both Japantown and the Fillmore— are now hoping to help revitalize Oakland's Brookfield neighborhood. Although no stranger to recreation centers, ELS has a bit more of a challenge this time: A new 50,000 sq ft community and sports center, complete with large natatorium (or indoor pool, for the layman), is planned for a crime-stricken area where community members have high hopes that the project will help deter local gang violence. And of course, we'd be remiss to not mention that the new center will meet LEED silver requirements as mandated by the City of Oakland. Like the revamped Kabuki, it will be made from recycled materials — only instead of recycled barn wood, the new center will be built from melted down bullets and guns collected from local youths.
· Community Center to Revive East Oakland, CA [Interior Design Magazine]
· Curbed Inside: Japantown's Sundance Cinemas Kabuki [Curbed SF]

[interior rendering courtesy of Interior Design]