Atlanta United FC needed a home base that could fulfill a wide variety of needs—from those of its players and employees behind the team, to fans and community members. Just before the team started their 2017 season, they were sprawled out, commuting more than an hour to use facilities that were not their own. The objective of the project was to create a united wellness and fitness center for the team to call home. In addition, the client desired a facility that could attract future talent domestically and abroad.
The team vision of inclusion and excellence was chosen to guide design decisions for the 30,000 SF facility, which would serve as not just training grounds for the team, but also a home for the youth team, corporate workforce, and community events. The facility needed to be an inspirational space for players, staff, visitors and supporters, and foster an open, collaborative environment. The client specified a need for spaces that would effectively support the team by including room for training, sports medicine, nutrition, grooming, and more. As a unique challenge, they also wanted the space to be flexible enough to host events for the community, from birthdays to office parties.
The client commissioned the designers to create a custom facility from the ground up, with avant-garde amenities to make this training facility much more than a locker room. The training gym was designed to be interconnected, featuring best-in-class equipment, a garage-door that opens to the fields, and a window from the second level for observers. There is a series of rooms dedicated to on-site sports medicine, including a physiotherapy room with exam tables, a hydrotherapy room, and a sauna. The first team’s locker room is located at the heart of the facility in an oval shape, with skylights, individual cubbies and a luxe, leather-topped bench running along the perimeter, giving the players a communal place to prepare for training or even get a haircut at the barber station. The dining area has an open kitchen and is created to train the players how and what to cook and eat. Long communal tables allow the team to eat together. Part of the dining area serves as a hangout for the players to relax and spend time off of the field together. The lobby is a two-story open space with full windows facing the fields, and doubles as a private event space.