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An adequate budget is important for any building, and so is a do-able program; a good site is essential, but the sine qua non of good architecture is a good architect. And for the new field house at the Clark Street Beach (1811 Sheridan Road) the Evanston Park/Forestry & Recreation Department selected a very good architect, David Woodhouse FAIA, a noted practitioner with excellent design reputation.
The building is equally bold and refreshing when illuminated at night and in the light of day. It consists of two modest-sized volumes, the smaller one lower, and the taller one a reasonable distance away. A sloping roof hovers over and connects them. The smaller, low volume is constructed of smooth, beige-colored, concrete masonry and, since it is for food and beverage concessions, its two corners can open up for service.
The taller volume, containing the public washrooms, is of gray limestone up to about 8 feet. Above that are several feet of glass all around the volume to let in ample daylight to the washrooms.
The sloping roof that connects the two volumes provides a temporary rain shelter between them and gives the building a bold and eye-catching accent.
The public washrooms can be reached from both sides, the beach side as well as from the park. A freestanding shower post is situated away from the building on the beach side.
1811 Sheridan Road is located at Clark Street. An attractively brick-paved drive leads to it for drop-offs and there are ample bike-racks in front.
This beautiful little building is the proper scale to suggest openness; at night the abundant illumination suggests security. The Evanston Park/Forestry & Recreation Department ought to be complimented for selecting a fine architect and for facilitating such good results.