The Atlanta Braves continue to develop their campus in North Port, FL as a player development destination for their organization. The latest component to that is the Braves Player Academy. Nestled in the center of the training facilities, the player academy is a 45,555 sq.ft. dormitory facility for minor league player advancement.
The overall design of the building was driven by three core elements: function, flow and flexibility.
Addressing the function of the facility, the building needed to be an on-site home for athletes being developed by the Atlanta Braves. That required addressing both the residential and training needs of the individuals residing on campus. The Academy features a 102 beds in 34 standard rooms and 3 ADA/staff rooms. While staying on-site, players have access to a 210 seat auditorium, indoor recreational areas for gaming, classrooms, 120-seat dining hall, laundry facilities and a barber shop.
The interconnectivity and placement of each space was designed to create a transitional flow that follows the daily routine of an athlete in training. Determining where does a player start their day? Where do they end their day? And what is the most efficient path throughout the course of the day.
The final component of the facility was to design spaces that were flexible and able to smartly serve multiple functions. The dining hall can easily be converted into a meeting space. The open floor plan places the recreation area next to teaching spaces and includes removable partitions. This allows multiple configurations including:
- Two classrooms and a separate recreation room.
- One larger classroom with a separate recreation room.
- Large recreation space encompassing the whole area.
Once the function, flow and flexibility of the facility were established, the design aesthetic could be addressed. The Atlanta Braves wanted the Academy entrance to be visible upon entering the parking lot of CoolToday Park. A high entry and sloped roof serve as a receiving mechanism and entry identifier. Metal detailing on the front portion of the building compliments design elements located in CoolToday Park to create a cohesive campus aesthetic. Color selections, graphics and imagery all celebrate the heritage of the Atlanta Braves baseball organization.