Credit Union Place
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Client : City of Summerside
Area : 196,200 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (6-Lane 25m Competition Pool, Leisure Pool, Whirpool, Changerooms), Twin-Pad Arena (Spectator Seating, Changerooms), Fitness Centre, Indoor Track, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Administrative and Support Spaces
Associated Architects : WHW (Now Architecture 49)
Located in Summerside—a city of roughly 15,000 people, and the primary service centre for the western half of Prince Edward Island—Credit Union Place is a complex of diverse civic programs completed in nine phases to allow for continual use of existing its facilities during built-out. Part of a municipal strategy to revitalize the city’s downtown, the project is organized into four themes: wellness, sport, entertainment, and culture.
The early phases of the program support the sport and wellness elements, beginning with a wood-lined aquatics hall comprising a six-lane, 25-metre competition pool and a large leisure pool with a slide. A fitness and wellness centre overlooks the aquatics hall via interior windows.
Phase two includes a 3,500-seat arena—home ice to the local Junior A hockey team—as well as a second practice rink and an eight-lane bowling alley. The final plans also include a conference centre with a large commercial kitchen capable of accommodating conventions and trade shows, and a single public lobby to connect and organize all programmatic elements.
Between the hockey arena and the aquatics centre, several sustainability measures were required to mitigate energy use, such as high-efficiency geothermal and heat transfer systems, including an energy loop connected to ground-source heat pumps, as well as in-floor heating and refrigeration heat recovery.
MJMA’s plan organizes not only its internal program but also its surroundings, beginning with the creation of a new urban entrance terrace facing east, toward the city. The eastern façade meets vehicles approaching from downtown with a rising cantilevered roofline, clad in metal, with colourful mosaic cladding and full-height glazing below to denote the entryway. From the aquatics centre, the same elevation provides views to an existing park.
To the west, where parking is located, the building presents a striking face broken up by distinctive, strategically placed windows that admit natural light into the athletics halls. Here, the transition from exterior to interior is mediated by a human-scaled entryway topped by a large, wood-lined canopy surrounded by a generous plaza replete with public seating, potted trees, and pergolas for shade.
Though sited in an open area near the edge of town, the transformed complex combines indoor facilities with outdoor gathering spaces to form a new attractor for local and national events, and a social hub for the surrounding communities with connections that extend into the downtown area.