Client: Camp DeSoto

Open-Air Gymnasium

Camp DeSoto, located in Mentone, Alabama has been in continuous operation every summer since 1925.  They host two sessions of 225 girls between the ages of 8 and 18 each summer.  The multipurpose open air “Gym” building serves as the main venue for beginning and ending the day together, worship services on Sunday morning, kickball games and theater performances.

The design team goals focused on making a building to replace the existing 80 year-old gym and retaining 80 years of history, character and place with the new structure.   The new gym is carefully sited and was constructed to protect and save existing trees.  Trees that were removed were dropped, peeled, dried and reused for the main structural columns for the new building. Existing materials repurposed in the new building include: wood trusses into new doors and windows, wood flooring into new interior wall finishes, stonework.


AIA Birminhgam Design Awards, Best in Show, 2015


Thank you for the work you do and in particular for the work you have done at Camp DeSoto.  I feel very privileged to have been able to be around for this process, to know you, to see your gift of design materialize, and to see all the thought, passion, care, creativity, brilliance, and, yes, I think, even love that has gone into it.

Marsha Hurt,  Camp DeSoto Co-Director