Podemos! will be a social hub for greater Santa Cruz and a community center for the neighborhood: A place to watch great soccer games; A place to learn; A place to produce and sell crafts; A place to garden and get fresh water; A place to spend time with neighbors; A place defined by a better quality of life.
Central to the design is incorporating multiple programs that activate the site throughout the day and evening. The site not only serves as a venue for soccer events such as the Homeless World Cup, but also as a community recreation, educational, and business development center.
The stadium and center exemplify sustainable design. The gray-water system collects water from the roof, which is channeled into a space adjacent to the classroom, transforming it to an educational apparatus on water conservation. Passively ventilated buildings utilize the site’s wind flow and a thatched roof not only shades spectators, but also blocks solar gain from the classroom and shops below. Photovoltaics power fans and nighttime lighting.
Bamboo is the primary material of the project. It is local, durable and a renewable resource. Its sustainable qualities can be seen in all aspects of the center’s design, from the thatched roof and spectator seating to the growth of bamboo on the site for use in the later phases of on-site development and future community projects.
::Educational and Economic::
Podemos! will teach leadership and stewardship of the environment. Educational programs will include workshops on bamboo construction, local crafts, methods for rainwater harvesting, and entrepreneurship. The two fields next to the educational facilities will be the center of the neighborhood’s soccer & leadership program.
Podemos! focuses on helping the local, in particular youthful neighborhood population of Santa Cruz. The development encourages autonomy through the production, harvesting and use of local resources such as bamboo and rainwater, simultaneously fostering greater cooperative synergies for Santa Cruz, but also serving as a platform for promoting local businesses.