Youth friendly. Neighborhood friendly. Earth friendly.

Completed in 2004, the BRIDGES Center was the first green commercial building in Memphis – the culmination of years of dreaming by BRIDGES leaders about a building that is inviting to youth and functions well for our programs and the entire community.

Watch the video to hear to past President and CEO Jim Boyd, architect Coleman Coker and Bridge Builders founder Rebecca Webb Wilson discuss the vision behind the BRIDGES Center's design and functionality.

Learn More About The Center

Roll over the dots to learn more about the BRIDGES Center and its community and environmental impact.

The building is open and welcoming – the facades are broken up so that the building doesn’t appear "monumental," and the roofline was designed to be no higher than our neighbors' so that the BRIDGES center doesn't loom over the neighborhood. It is meant to be a place where all can come – there are no high fences or other barriers.

Fresh air and sunlight are prevalent throughout the building. Floor-to-ceiling windows are used throughout and ultraviolet filters in the air-handling system remove bacteria and pollutants from the air in the building. Environmentally friendly, non-allergenic paint is used throughout the building.

The entire complex is designed as a learning tool. Studies show that the adolescent learns best in an environment filled with adventure and a degree of danger; thus the High Adventure Hall. This section of the building is designed with an eye toward nurturing the neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is known to be the last part of the brain to develop and affects an individual's ability to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal and social “control.”

There are 176 solar panels on the roof of the training side, capable of producing up to 32,560 watts of DC power. Converting DC to AC and accounting for the losses in heating wires, these panels can add up to about 30 kilowatts of AC power to the MLGW electric grid on a bright sunny day in mid-summer. The center is the only solar power-generating site in Memphis. In addition, the south building was designed in a deconstructed manner so youth (and adults) can see how electrical wiring, computer cabling, air and heating ducts, etc., get from one location to another.

The building is constructed of simple, sustainable materials such as concrete and recycled particle wallboard. The walls of the work stations and the carpet are made of recycled material. The south building also has relatively few 90-degree angles; the absence of 90-degree angles stimulates the adolescent brain (and drives some adult brains “crazy”!).

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Climbing

The public now has access to the climbing walls on various nights of the week when they are not in use for other events. Participants can use the auto-belay system which allows users to climb on their own or with a partner. Belayers must be certified by a Team BRIDGES member. Click below to see the open hours for climbing sessions.

Team Bridges
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Special Events

The BRIDGES Center is the perfect venue for hosting parties, weddings, receptions, dinners and corporate functions. Our staff will work closely with you to create an event that is manageable for you and special for your guests.

Facility Rental