Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that the Concession and Bathhouse Building at Southwick Beach State Park in Henderson, NY, has been selected by AIA Central New York to receive a 2021 AIA CNY Citation for Design in the Institutional category. The awards program celebrates the design excellence of Architects throughout Central New York and honors the client and design teams that work together to create and enhance the built environment. “We are happy that the work we’ve done in partnership with NY State Parks is being recognized. The new building at Southwick beach will hopefully serve the many park patrons well, and make their visits memorable,” says Project Architect Barry Halperin, AIA, NCARB.
Southwick Beach State Park is one of the most heavily visited day use areas in the Thousand Island State Parks Region, attracting an average of 120,000 visitors annually to the sandy shores of Lake Ontario. During their stay, Park-goers can visit the sandy beach, hike along wooded trails, or camp at the nearby campgrounds. To serve this diverse set of visitors and to provide an accessible and modern experience, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) tasked Beardsley with designing a new, modern bathhouse and concession facility that reflects the traditional architecture of the Thousand Islands region. The selected site also provides a better view of the lake upon approach than the existing, dated 1960s-era concession building, which will be converted into an open-air pavilion in a future phase.
As visitors drive up the newly re-aligned entry roadway, they are greeted by the new bathhouse and concession buildings straight ahead. Beardsley chose to separate the primary functions of the facility into two separate buildings, connected by a pergola and gathering area, to create an unobstructed view of the beach and Lake Ontario beyond, rather than obstructing the view with a building. The new facility is sited on a raised terrace that formally organizes the facility on the site and mediates between the landscape of the beach and the landscape of the grass and wooded park that visitors travel through when approaching the site.
The bathhouse building features restroom and shower facilities, an office for park staff, and ample storage. The lifeguard and first aid stations are also located in the bathhouse and are oriented to face the lake for safety and ease of access. The concession building features an arcade, laundry area, commercial kitchen and concession area, and camp store. The central outdoor gathering area features both fixed and flexible seating as well as a propane fueled fire pit so that visitors can enjoy the facility in the evening or in the cooler months. Picnic areas and small pavilions create additional gathering spaces around the facility.
Now complete, the new facility provides patrons with improved access to the beach and Lake Ontario, creating a space where people from all walks of life can gather and socialize or find a moment to rest and enjoy the park’s natural setting.