In designing the new Training Recreational Education Center (TREC) in Newark, Princeton-based firm ikon.5 architects used the city itself as the basis for a plan. The new building is to be located at a point where Newark’s urban grid is interrupted by the irregular silhouette of the Olmsted-designed Weequahic Park, a collision that causes the former to splinter into two offset triangular outcroppings. The interlocking triangles that form the TREC are derived from this moment of shift in the city’s framework.
Featuring a transparent facade, the building’s more open triangle will house classrooms and meeting spaces, while its larger opaque sibling is to contain a gymnasium and other recreation functions. A garden courtyard is in the northwestern corner of the building. Commissioned by the City of Newark, ikon.5 envisioned the 22,000-square-foot TREC as a civic anchor for the adjacent community and urban housing.