Moorhead Recreation Center

Aurora, Colorado

A truly multifunctional center, Moorhead incorporates the City of Aurora's goals of promoting health and wellness, providing a safe place for students after school and offering the community a place to gather and connect.

LocationAurora, Colorado

ClientCity of Aurora


CategoryAquatics, Urban, Renovation

Square Footage38,600



The glowing, white boxes that highlight different areas of the building were inspired by how the community celebrates the holidays. During the festive winter season luminarias, or lanterns, are placed outside homes and along walkways and plazas. The luminarias are made with paper bags, votive candles and sand in the bottom to weigh them down. Moorhead Recreation Center's glowing towers are achieved with insulated translucent panels and strips of LED light.

Multipurpose Spaces

Rope Wall

One of the goals of Moorhead Recreation Center was to provide a safe place for kids to go after school. With that, we wanted to be able to hear and see the kids in the gymnasium from the front desk so we thought of a rope wall. Static ropes were chosen because they have very little stretch to them (less than 5%). The colors were inspired by the paintings made by the children of Aurora that were hung in the gym. Designers, Jesse, Chris and Zach, built a screen and tested it out at our studio with volleyballs, basketballs and soccer balls. Designer, Carmen, implemented the intricate sequence and tie off logistics. Like industrial weavers, the contractors from Pinkard Construction used a come-a-long to tighten the rope to get just the right amount of tension. Together we created a unique installation of functional art for the community of Aurora.


The community communicated an appreciation of the trees in Moorhead Memorial Park and how important it was to protect them during construction. As part of tradition, trees are planted in and around the park to memorialize community members so we knew it would be important to reference them in some way. The green patterned bricks on the side of the building are inspired by the memorial trees in the area.

“They really put a lot of time into this place, it’s not just a bigger building. It has heart. It has become something that our community members are really proud of.”

– Jennifer Taylor, Program Assistant

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