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On The Boards | Appleton Readiness Center

Appleton

Story:

Proudly serving the Illinois Air and Army National Guard since 2003, Bailey Edward is adding to our readiness center portfolio by bringing our Illinois experience into Wisconsin. Teaming with the Wisconsin-based Boer Architects, Bailey Edward is the design architect and interior designer for the 28,000-sf renovation and 25,000-sf addition to the Wisconsin National Guard’s Appleton Readiness Center while Boer is the Prime Architect.

Originally a single-story masonry building constructed in 1968 with subsequent additions, the facility requires a total overhaul and an addition to meet the growing operational needs of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat team also known as the Red Arrow Brigade. Through an all-day design charrette, it became clear that the Red Arrow Brigade and its story would be singular point of inspiration. (Link to the website that has this story on the Wisconsin National Guard website)

At the charrette, we used engaging group exercises such as brainstorming, relationship diagramming, bubble-diagram planning, and priority ranking. From these sessions we developed a pre-design report that explored different ways to express the user’s priorities: pride in the soldier, flexible, functional and efficient operations, maximum natural light and views, and an integrated ‘red arrow’ symbolism representative of the unit.

Entry

Challenged with Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (AT/FP) limitations and a request for a new entry location, the addition encases the existing building on three sides allowing BE to create an entirely new architectural expression. As a focal point to the building, the new entry has a vaulting red roof expression reminiscent of the existing laminated wood structure and the Red Arrow Brigade symbol. New window fenestration mimics marching soldiers while a metal mural at the entry displays historic imagery of the Red Arrow soldier. Honoring the history of the units continues into the interior with historic and historical displays in the public areas as these areas are accented with daylight and provide with views to the sky via the vaulted roof form.

By doubling the existing facility, the Appleton National Guard Readiness Center will better serve its mission while honoring the soldier, especially their Red Arrow efforts in numerous military engagements, through an updated architectural expression to the building.