The project is a community pavilion and park, and the way they work together as a public amenity, a civic destination, a gathering space, and simply as a place. The building is a compass, setting up the form of the park, and is an orientation device for the activity that springs from within it and around it. The park is a series of spaces for fitness, leisure, and community gathering to unfold in a richly textured and undulating landscape. A fitness trail system around the park will connect with a series of new and existing pedestrian trails extending into the city fabric. The site will be a destination point in this system.
The 75,000sf community centre will be a focal point within the site with light-permeable cladding encasing a leisure and lap pool, triple gymnasium, and multi-purpose rooms. The elemental form faces each cardinal direction, as do the sports fields for preferred solar orientation. Reclaimed topsoil has been used to create a new topography on this relatively flat former agricultural field. These small rolling hills are situated at the edges of sports fields and the central green lawn to create informal seating and destination points within the site.
The building appears as a simple form within the landscape, however, it reveals a heavy timber structure beneath its expanded metal mesh envelope and a complex internal ceiling of forms used to control light and sound.
A changeroom and service bar flanks the pool and gymnasium which are fully glazed towards the central park amenity spaces. A central lobby bisects the narrow bar. The changeroom corridors are fully glazed so that some of the internal workings of the community centre are visible to those arriving at the facility. The building creates overhangs on its long sides to provide covered connections from the ninth line at the north to the soccer fields and covered dome in the south. These overhangs act as park shade structures adjacent to the playground and splash pad as well as covered bicycle parking and a dry walking track around the building. This depth helps to mitigate glare into the pool and gymnasium.
A series of activities have been grouped together under an undulating ceiling. The gym, lobby and pool have been covered by a stretched membrane assembly shaped to reflect and absorb both sound and natural light. These inverted peaks form continuous loops over each pool, the lobby and the gym courts. They are lined with LED light fixtures highlighting the spaces within the space. Micro perforations in the membrane ceiling let sound pass through to acoustic insulation. Natural light drops into the space from a series of skylights above, reflecting off the membrane ceiling. The aim, beyond the practical function of eliminating glare and excess heat gain, is to provide more enigmatic space with this slightly subtle source of light like a lit cavern of some sort.
The gym, lobby and pool are wrapped with a dense array of glulam columns which provide the structural and curtainwall framing on the west half of the building. The glulam framing extends outwards to form a deep overhang and is clad in expanded aluminum mesh which permits filtered light through to the building. The lateral restraint systems of the building are buried within the changeroom bar on the east side of the building. Glazing units connect directly to the glulam columns by means of a toggle system set between the lites and directly fastened to the glulam columns. The result is a robust wood structure clad in a very simple glazed curtain.