Gauche Aquatic Park fulfills a long-standing vision that community leaders have shared for Yuba City,meeting a variety of goals identified in the 1992 Central City Specific Plan. The center creates a social and symbolic core and an economic engine that will draw commercial development into the downtown
area. At a cost of $14.5 million, GAP fulfills many recreational
needs in the community. The community park includes areas for
active and passive play, gathering spaces and cultural activities.
The aquatics center provides much-needed water-related programs and
meeting spaces for citizens.
The swim building includes lifeguard and recreation staff offices,
ticket sales, concessions, pool equipment rooms, restroom and
locker facilities, and meeting and party rooms. The meeting rooms
are connected and partitions can be moved aside to create one large
room. Television monitors, refrigerators and cabinetry allow for
flexibility in function because they can be rented for parties or
used for training seminars.
The GAP pools are a primary feature of the park
redevelopment and will be the premier aquatics venue for the
county. The pool area includes a 10-lane-by-25-yard competition
pool, complete with lighting, scoreboard and bleachers.
Also included is an activity pool with a play
structure in the center and a beach entry. This warmer-temperature
pool offers an area for swim and aquacise classes, in addition to
the water slide with receiving pool. Plenty of covered spectator
bleacher seating, open lawn seating, and a large expanse of deck
area to accommodate lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas are
available for informal gatherings. The Riverwalk, a meandering
pedestrian path originating at the main entrance to the park, makes
its way to and through the aquatics building. The curved rock walls
in the lobby mirror the banks of the Yuba River.
The central administrative hub is an oval form
that responds to the organic nature of the Riverwalk as well. This
strong architectural element houses offices, the lobby and a
lifeguard room that utilizes its form to maintain visual contact
with the pool deck. Pool users follow the undulating walk through
the lobby, out to the pool deck, terminating at the prominent slide
The aquatics building functionally reinforces the
important needs of a swim center. Lifeguards are located in a
central, visually accessible environment for easy scanning of the
entire pool area. A clearly defined and inviting central lobby
space allows efficient access to changing and pool areas.
With the community park to one side of the
building and the pools to the other, the building acts as a natural
perimeter between the two, but also includes functions that provide
dual service. The concessions space has service windows for the
park and the pools. Separate restrooms are on either side of the
The building footprint is oriented east-west to
control solar exposure. In response to the solar orientation, the
roof slopes and overhangs to the south to provide much-needed
shading in the summer and to accommodate a future photovoltaic
panel system. As the roof slopes up in the opposite direction,
clerestory windows provide natural light into many areas of the
building, taking advantage of consistent northern daylight.
Louvers, located above interior spaces, allow the
flow of natural ventilation along the building perimeter. Low VOC
interior materials, recycled-content metal roofing and structural
steel, high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures,
dark-sky site lighting, and high-efficiency mechanical systems are
just some of the sustainable features.
Gauche Aquatic Park has become a premier venue for the region, a
centerpiece of the city’s park and recreation program. It
reflects the wonderful river context that is Yuba City,
demonstrates a simple, passive sustainable design approach, and
also a strong commitment by the city for passive and active
recreational leisure for decades to come.