Venture Therapeutic Pool
Helping some of the most disabled individuals experience
an "incredible lightness of being".


  1995 AIA Community Design Award Winner      

Long ago Venture realized the benefits of water therapy for people with developmental disabilities.  For years, using a temporary pool, individuals bound to their wheel chairs, too weak to move limbs, experienced what Kathleen Lukens the Executive Director and Founder of Camp Venture eloquently calls the "incredible lightness of being".  The buoyancy of water gives partial mobility to some and enabled others to almost walk.  It was this experience that inspired Camp Venture to embark on a mission to provide this environment year round.  

The Venture Pool Complex is a 7500 square foot addition to Venture's Day Treatment Center, located in Sparkill NY.  The facility provides two pools, locker and shower areas, individual changing rooms and a program space.  Two pools, and the building plan, will permit flexibility in temperature and program.   



The limited budget did not limit the ability of Michael Shilale to design a functional plan, maintain a high level of quality construction, and create an addition that harmonizes with the existing building. 

The new Therapeutic Pool Building has a stained glass representation of the Venture logo in a circular window adorning the natatorium.  A butterfly, at first flight; a symbol of the metamorphosis being made every day by the individuals Camp Venture serves. 

The design effort was to attempt to create a building that not only functions well, but  also imbues in the architecture a sense of significance with what happens here - enriching the experience for those who come to serve and be served - and enhancing the specialness of this environment. 


  LOCATION - Sparkill, New York
CLIENT - Camp Venture Inc.
COST - $1,000,000
SIZE - 7500 SF