The Felipe Alou baseball academy serves as the center of Latin American operations for the San Francisco Giants in the Dominican Republic.
Since the 50s, Major League Baseball has worked to develop talent in Central and South America. Today, all Major League teams have established academies in the Dominican Republic for promising teenage players. The Giants have a long history in the Dominican Republic and wanted a facility reflecting their commitment to the country.
The facility's program is divided into two buildings: An athletic/administration building and a residential/classroom building. The athletic building contains administrative offices, clubhouse, locker room, and other training facilities. Situated at the entrance to the facility and centered among three baseball diamonds, all operations within the building have direct access and views to the fields. The residential building sits on the edge of campus and accommodates a dormitory for over 50 players and 8 coaches on the upper floor. The ground floor contains a dining hall, classrooms, computer rooms, and lounge space. The building comprises three wings around a central courtyard that is on axis with the primary game field. As part of the building's formal entry, there is a covered space centered on the courtyard. This outside gathering space, sheltered from the sun, functions like the palapas found throughout the region.
The campus plan is informed by the open site and climate. The most visible design features are the flyroofs - enormous shading devices in response to the intense tropical sun. The structures reflect the typical vernacular: Concrete block structures within concrete frames and cement plaster. Materials and finishes are kept to a minimal palette native to the region, including coralina, a limestone native to the region that is found throughout the buildings and streets of the Colonial Zone.
Design Architect: jones | haydu
Local Architect of Record: JMF Arquitectos
Contractor: CCA Ing Cristian Ciccone y Asociados
Photography: Bruce Damonte