Client : Town of Halton Hills
Area : Existing: 48,500 sf Expansion: 43,000 sf
Program : Single-Pad Arena (Spectator Seating, Changerooms), Active Living Centre, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Concession, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Sports Courts, Skate Park)
Completion : June 2016
Acton, Ontario—which lies within the larger town of Halton Hills on the northwestern periphery of the Golden Horseshoe— is a secluded region of roughly 10,000 people, and combines the characteristics of both a rural town and an exurban bedroom community. Here, the Acton Arena and Community Centre expands an existing hockey arena to meet the region’s growing demand for rink time, as participation grows in youth and adult sports alike. Located at the northern limits of Acton, the Centre is situated along a main access road, facing southwest toward a medium-density neighbourhood of single-family residences; in every other direction, the Centre is bordered by open fields and an outdoor park precinct governed by strict conservation regulations.
The Centre’s structure is designed to have a minimal impact on the surrounding landscape, including the immediately adjacent skate park to the northwest, as well as Tanner Drive Park’s walking trails and protected forests, and was assembled using a custom pre-engineered system to satisfy an extremely tight budget and an accelerated schedule. To the street, the Centre presents a façade of pale grey panels above multicoloured grey brick. These neutral tones and clean lines express a unique identity thanks to their unorthodox angles: at the southwest corner of the structure, the façade is extended outward into a glazed entry foyer whose walls meet at less than 90 degrees, while on the northwest elevation, facing the skate park, the top half of the façade projects gently outward, making the westernmost corner of the roofline a striking acute angle.
To the existing arena, the extension adds a new single-pad arena with spectator seating for 200, as well as six change rooms, two referee rooms, and multipurpose studios. A large public concourse now marries the new and old ice pads, and offers clear views into both, establishing this central circulation area as a new social gathering space. MJMA also used the expansion as an opportunity to introduce natural daylight to the interior—not only into the new addition, but into the existing arena space as well, drawing down the need for artificial lighting.