Mathews Architecture

YWCA of Asheville

The YWCA of Asheville had an outdated facility that did not fully serve its programs and suffered from years of deferred maintenance.

We conducted a participatory master planning process with the staff, public, board, and volunteers to assess existing needs and uses and to plan for future growth, flexibility and expansion of programs and services.

This led to a $4-million capital campaign to renovate and expand the facilities. The project includes approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of new construction, half being administrative office, work and meeting space, as well as more than 24,000 sq. ft of renovations within the existing buildings.

The new additions house expanded services for day care, after-school programs, educational classrooms, and administrative offices. The entire facility was brought up to current building code requirements including accessibility. An elevator was installed and there was significant expansion and upgrading of all locker and shower rooms.

The YWCA now includes flexible multipurpose and educational meeting rooms as well as new athletic and fitness facilities. The licensed day care center has been expanded to accommodate more children from infants through four years of age.

Our shared goal is to help the YWCA to achieve the highest level of accreditation for this program. There is a new interior play area, which will also serve as a drop-off center for parents using other YWCA facilities.

Establishing a fresh and lively image for the building, both inside and out, was an important aspect of better reflecting the organization, its mission and its energy.

The arched canopy creates a welcoming entrance and the new connector arcade visually connects the new and old areas of construction. Bright, warm colors, patterned flooring, and natural daylighting work together to enliven the interior spaces and provide a unified image. On-site parking was expanded adjacent to the new addition on a landscaped terrace and children’s play areas and gardens reconfigured

The project had to work around two existing buildings and three types of existing construction. The original building designed by Six Associates was build in 1961 and consisted of exterior load-bearing brick and concrete block walls and a combination of bar-joists and glulam beam roof structure and tectum decking.

The building housing the entrance, gym, pool and locker rooms was designed by Jan Weighman and built in 1974. It was constructed of a single-wythe of stacked bond load-bearing concrete block and concrete T-plank roof and floor systems.

The new construction, which wrapped around the 1974 building to create a new entry and connector to the 15,000 sf addition, is primarily masonry (cmu and exterior face brick) cavity wall construction and steel bar joist and metal deck floors and roof construction.
Main entrance of the YWCA.
The YWCA, aesthetically joining sections from three different eras.
Aerial view of the 1961 and 1974 buildings at the beginning of the 2000 renovation and expansion.
View of the decorative brickwork used on the new addition.
The arcade connecting the main lobby to the new addition.
The old gym reborn into a heavily utilized fitness room.
A large multi-purpose room in the 1974 section of the facility.
The main entrance lobby following the renovation.
View of the daylighting of the main lobby provided by the new entrance.
The original lobby before renovation.
One of the new daycare rooms.
The special drop-in daycare room.
A renovated corridor outside the multi-purpose room.