SPF:a employs prefab construction to expand Rancho Cienega Sports Complex in Los Angeles

Architecture Sustainability Urbanism West
Aerial view of Rancho La Cienega project (SFP:a)

Aerial view of Rancho La Cienega project (SPF:a)

After winning a Los Angeles–sponsored competition last February to redevelop the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex (RCSC) in Baldwin Hills, SPF:a—along with landscape architect Hood Design Studio and engineer Buro Happold—is moving forward with design.


Inside the gymnasium (SPF:a)

The firm found out through their research that the community needed more space than the original competition program foresaw. So they developed a prefabricated building system (combining minimal, integrated, pre-engineered components with limited bespoke ones) that minimizes budget, allowing them to increase area. For instance they saved enough to enlarge a 13,000 square foot pool facility to 23,000 square feet and an 11,000 square foot basketball area to 16,000 square feet.

The project also offers exceptional environmental perks, like the transformation of the facility’s old pool into a rainwater storage tank, geothermal heating, extensive daylighting through solar tubes, natural ventilation and a photovoltaic rooftop. It is aiming for a LEED Silver rating. Another goal was “coherent image reflection,” said SPF:a cofounder Zoltan Pali. For instance, building components mirror the design and color of basketball backboards, field goal structures and scoreboards.

SPF:a collaborated with Hood Design Studio to create an extensive outdoor greening concept. Their landscape strategy clarifies circulation and creates additional gathering areas between the existing sports fields. Drought tolerant planting creates a “botanical garden,” featuring five distinct ecologies: high desert, canyon, coastal, chaparral and medicinal.

Designed for a multi-staged construction process that will allow all facilities to remain open during redevelopment. Construction is expected to commence in mid 2016 with the new facilities opening in phases through 2018.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson, who has led the city’s investment in the project, considers the complex to be “a tremendous community asset, both as a great neighborhood park, and also as a great Regional Park serving residents from all over the city.” He added: “We look forward to realizing a more modern park space so that the families in our community can enjoy a safer and healthier recreational experience.”

Rancho Cienega-24

Playing field for football (SPF:a)


Swimming facility (SPF:a)

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