The Bedford Center YMCA

For Texas Multi-Generation Recreation Center, it’s “Nichiha or Nothing”

Case Study

The Bedford Center YMCA

For Texas Multi-Generation Recreation Center, it’s Nichiha or Nothing

In 2017, Bedford, TX voters authored a $70-million General Obligation Parks Bond that facilitated the creation of a massive, 82,000-square-foot facility to serve the community. Dubbed “The Bedford Center YMCA,” the multi-use complex sits on the former site of the Bedford Boys Ranch that housed boys who were wards of the court.   

Following the passage of a 2017 voter-backed bond, the city elected to allocate $64.5 million for the construction of the park and $5.5 million for a visual performing arts center at the former Old Bedford School.  

All Eyes on Bedford 

In the planning stages of the project, Fort Worth-based Oxley Williams Tharp Architects, PLLC was chosen to design the facility. And when partner Jim Tharpe, principal,  designed the building’s façade in early 2019, he turned to his longstanding relationship with Nichiha USA. He was so certain he wanted to use Nichiha cladding that he chose not to name an alternative material choice in his firm’s bid for the project.   

“We’ve used the product before on some of our other projects and have had a lot of success with it,” Tharp said. “We like that it’s offered in so many colors and textures. It really offers some design freedom.” 

From the beginning, the project had a significant number of onlookers. Not only was the construction backed by a taxpayer-funded bond, but the facility’s construction was literally livestreamed for the public on the City of Bedford’s website. 

Nichiha Architectural Wall Panels (AWP), which are comprised of fiber cement, offer unmatched versatility in such projects. With looks that mimic wood, concrete, and brick, AWP allow architects significant design flexibility. 

Movement Through Design 

The site’s crown jewel, The Center, is brimming with features like a fitness center, game lounge, indoor pool with slides, a therapeutic hot tub, a fitness mezzanine with an indoor track, and much more The theme of movement emerged. And with the YMCA signing on late in the build to operate the center on the city’s behalf, architects decided to reflect The Center’s purpose in its design.  

“We wanted the idea of ‘movement’ to be reflected in the façade,” said Tharp. “We were able to put four or five different shades of blues and greys to create layered patterns that made it look like things on the wall were in motion.” 

In total, five custom colors were used for the Ribbed and Illumination panels. Nichiha was instrumental in helping Tharp’s firm see through their vision for the center. 

“Something like stucco would have its own set of challenges. The only way to really accomplish the vision we had was with Nichiha.” 

Looks That Last 

Because Nichiha AWP features a built-in rainscreen with moisture management properties, it is an ideal product for both commercial and residential applications.  

The project’s importance was undeniable, boasting amenities like an outdoor water park, a softball/baseball complex, a special events lawn, and a multipurpose field area. Being operated by the YMCA, The Center will serve as a community resource for lower-income families, with rate reduction options.  

Thanks to AWP’s durability, families will be able to enjoy The Center’s energetic design for years to come without degradation from the elements.  

The Challenge

Install a cladding solution that will stand the test of time for this high-traffic, high-use multiuse community center

The Solution

An 82,000-square-foot, publicly funded facility that will serve residents of Bedford, TX. The Bedford Center YMCA facility boasts numerous amenities, including a fitness center, game lounge, indoor pool, and more.

The Results

Five custom colors of Nichiha’s Ribbed and Illumination panels adorn the multi-generational facility, providing a contemporary look that will last.

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