Green River Community Center

Green River Community Center

Awards Won

Citation Award 2011


Green River, UT


Marlon Blackwell Architect

Project Team

Project Team:
Marlon Blackwell, FAIA
Meryati Blackwell, Assoc. AIA
Jonathan Boelkins
Austin Chatlelain
Michael Pope
Bradford Payne
Stephen Reyenga

Deb Burnette
Salt Lake City

Photo Credit


Project Overview

Green River Community Center_alt]The Green River Community Center is the hub for social, recreation, educational and political activity in a barren desert community.

The Green River Community Center addresses the social and economic needs for an impoverished community of 900 people, and serves a large rural area as well. As a catalyst to revitalize the city, it is both the community’s gathering place and a welcome center for numerous tourists, who visit the nearby Arches National Park. Inspiration for the project is drawn from the monumental form and rich materials of the location’s natural environment. A large cantilevered canopy embraces visitors to the center and serves as a visor to the intense western sun.

The ground floor is wrapped in glass on three sides to foster transparency , connectivity and security, featuring a large multi-purpose room as well as a lounge, library, and classrooms.  Along with the glass wrapper, a central courtyard delivers daylight to the interior and serves as a secure playground for federal Head Start programs. The second floor houses administrative offices, while allowing access to a green roof which is available to the public featuring an event space and garden with views to the surrounding mountains.

The Green River Community Center will be LEED Platinum, and features many active and passive strategies for energy and resource conservation.  A solar array on the roof harvests electricity, and the roof collects all rainwater for storage in a cistern below the central courtyard, crucial in a region with only 7" of rainfall a year.  An adjacent garden grows local fruits such as apples, peaches and watermelons and is irrigated by water from the cistern.