2018—Northside ISD Competitive Gymnasium

Northside ISD—Competitive Gymnasium
Architect: Marmon Mok Architecture

New build facility on existing sports complex. Focus on creating a multipurpose facility to serve 12 high schools and an expanding district. District goal was to create a technologically advanced gymnasium with the ability to convert spaces for different functions while being environmentally and design conscious.


The 360° arena plan concept symbolizes the complete student. Seating is focused both on the floor activities and overhead video display. Spectator circulation is top down for event floor control. Visibility, views, and natural light are integral to user comfort, safety, and staff operations. The arch is an uplifting form providing shade and signifying entry. King-sized brick, recognizable and durable, is scale appropriate. The district color blue unifies the facility and the complex.


The District Gym is the epitome of value in its community. Designed and built entirely from savings unspent in the previous bond program, the $26 million facility was completely “found money.” Built in an existing complex, it utilized parking, roadways, and utilities. Truly multipurpose, it is home to sporting events, graduations, music festivals, education seminars, and a myriad of programs. Highly-efficient building envelope, HVAC, lighting, and water systems allow operations at a low cost.


The designers included abundant natural light, views, and sustainable elements, part of LEED criteria for design. An improved envelope was designed through the use of a brick exterior, superior insulation, long axis design, east-west orientation, shaded glass to the east, south, and west, and highly reflective roofs. Daylighting and distributed building controls offer efficient energy and water consumption. Excavated materials at the foundation were reused. Local materials were maximized.


An active community is essential to the consistent and varied use of the facility. Centrally located in the district, the multi-facility sports complex, with ample parking, advanced technology, and multipurpose spaces, the gym accommodates an array of users and functions. Serving 12 high schools, the gym stands as a symbol of pride and unity among the community. Easily accessible and visible from a major highway, this welcoming beacon is a symbol of the community’s dedication to its youth.


The design process included similar facility visits, stakeholder input, and close work sessions with the School Board. Building placement near the football stadium allowed central visibility and site management by athletic department staff from their office suite and maximized available parking. Computer modeling analyzed and optimized patron and vehicular circulation including service access and athlete entrances. Creating the most highly used school district sports facility in the city.

School Transformation

An original field house served athletics, but the new gym aligns with modern education ideals in support of holistic learning and a mind-body education. By integrating advanced technology and thoughtful design, the facility is able to transform from a sports venue to a place of learning, celebration, or performance. With enhanced flexibility and an economically and environmentally conscious footprint, the facility itself is a reflection of the 21st century skills being taught within its walls.


Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner