Located on the famous Charles River, Community Rowing was the first public rowing club in Boston. The current complex was designed by Anmahian Winton Architects in 2008. The 2,500 sq.m site has two main volumes that form a central area that “invites” access to the river. The one volume is the boathouse, with its own repair workshop and capacity for 170 canoes or boats. The other one has a gym, locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms, and spaces for more social gatherings. The architects sought an innovative design to bring something new to the architecture along the Charles River. They found inspiration in the proportions and external appearance of the tobacco warehouses and covered bridges that characterize the Charles, but explored these through a contemporary lens. The brief was also to focus on sustainability, preventing energy loss and optimizing natural resource use while minimizing operating costs and maximizing practicality and living comfort. Such ambitious goals required a team of engineers, suppliers and technicians - including Prodema - to come up with an envelope that fitted the bill aesthetically, but also delivered on the performance front. To adjust the natural ventilation, opening and closing mechanisms where added to the cladding made of Prodema’s ProdEX panels (Pale finish). These panels are made of a Bakelite core and feature a finish with a natural wood veneer, obtained from sustainably managed forests and designed to maintain all the qualities that are fundamental for a façade, such as resistance to the sun, parasites, temperature changes and vandalism. A PVDF skin protects the wood from dampness, humidity, rain and dust. The natural veins of the wood give the Community Rowing club a distinctive, welcoming look. The building was commissioned by a non-profit organization. It is very much a place for social gathering and sport, offering special programs for local state schools and disabled people. The project also sought to regenerate this area to create a new pole for the people of Boston, taking a district that was somewhat cut off from the rest of the river area and turning it into a space with usable green areas, cycle paths and road connections.
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