Greater Good: TEF Design's Clubhouse for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

 TEF Design made the gym the single largest space at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s Don Fisher Clubhouse.
TEF Design made the gym the single largest space at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco's Don Fisher Clubhouse. Photography by David Wakely.

If kids and teenagers aren’t actively engaged, they can get into all kinds of trouble. With that in mind, the has been offering a safe, enriching environment since 1891. That now means places for SAT prep, basketball games, or eating lunch, all for a membership fee of $20 a year.

When a donation from Gap founder Don Fisher, a longtime board member, made it possible to build a new clubhouse, the nonprofit called its go-to architecture firm, , which took on the project for a reduced fee. TEF principal , who entirely donated his time, responded with a four-story building bisected by an open staircase. One side of the 43,000-square-foot interior is divided between administrative offices and educational and performing-arts areas. On the other side, a competition-size swimming pool is on the ground level, with a triple-height gym stacked above.

The modernist-inflected exterior is relatively sober. But it’s enlivened by vertical fins painted in school-bus yellow, a nod to the energy of youth.

The LEED Gold building's facade in board-formed concrete, stucco, and cement plaster. Photography by David Wakely.

It's 25-yard pool.

Some of the 2,000 children and teens, ages 6 to 18, who use the center anually. Photography by David Wakely.

> See more from the February 2016 issue of Wifijerez