East Hants Aquatic Centre
Elmsdale, Nova Scotia
Client : The Municipality of East Hants
Area : 28,800 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (6-Lane 25m Lap Pool, Leisure Pool, Lazy River, Activity Area, Spectator Viewing Area, Universal Changerooms), Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Kitchenette, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Splash Pad, Landscaped Park Area)
Associated Architects : TEAL Architects + Planners Inc.
The East Hants Aquatic Centre is located in the portion of central mainland Nova Scotia known as “the Corridor”—an area comprising a half-dozen towns with 22,500 people spread across nearly 700 square miles, which has experienced significant residential growth over the past two decades. Compounding the need for a new aquatics centre, the existing pool in East Hants had reached the end of its functional life. Community leaders approached MJMA to design a new facility that would be function-driven yet attractive, large enough to meet current and future programming needs, and resistant to accelerated wear or vandalism. Additionally, they wanted a facility that would be efficient to operate and manage: requiring minimal energy for heating, cooling, and lighting, and laid out in a way that would make it easy to monitor without the need for redundant staffing.
The eastern portion of the 28,000-square-foot floor plan is turned over to an aquatics hall with a six-lane 25-metre lap pool, a one-metre diving board and a waterslide, a leisure pool with ramp access, a lazy river, and a hot pool for up to 20 people, all supported by women’s, men’s, and family/universal change rooms, as well as reception, administration and lifeguard areas. Along the western elevation—facing a stand of trees, pedestrian walks, and a splash pad—are the staff and building support spaces, a multipurpose room for up to 50 people with storage and a kitchenette, a public lobby and viewing area, and the pool and building mechanical rooms. A chlorine fill station is housed in an external shed a short distance south of the main structure, connected to the filtration room via underground pipes.
The main entrance is positioned at the northwest corner of the Centre, facing an existing building and a new parking and drop-off zone. The entrance, like much of the building perimeter, is fully glazed to connect it to its surroundings. The structure itself is simple and economic to minimize the complexity of construction: a rectangular footprint topped by a highly visible standing seam metal roof that rises gently from the entry on the west to the elevated ceiling atop the aquatics hall to the east. Skylights—as well as ample glazing to the north, east, and south—ensure the aquatics hall receives plenty of daylight.