Orillia Recreation Centre
Client : City of Orillia
Area : 137,400 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (8-Lane 25m Competition Pool with Movable Floor, Leisure Pool, Spa Pool, Climbing Wall, Swinging Rope, Changerooms), Two FIBA-Sized Gymnasiums, Fitness Centre, Weight Training Studio, Yoga Studio, Indoor Track, Pre-School Room, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Kitchen, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Sports Court, Playground, Multi-Use Trails, Community Courtyard)
Completion : February 2019
Located within a city of roughly 30,000 people, the Orillia Recreation Facility responds to the community’s longstanding need for a range of amenities—particularly a tournament venue and a wellness centre.
When completed, the Facility will occupy the site of a demolished primary school in a predominantly residential area; to match its neighbours, the Facility’s height is limited to 10.5 metres, the same as the demolished school. With parking moved to the interior of the site, the massing of the two-storey structure is adjusted to open up a park at the corner of the intersection, and is clad in variegated moulded brick and black aluminum curtain wall to integrate it into the surrounding neighbourhood.
The 100,000-square-foot interior includes a host of leisure and athletics amenities. On the ground floor lie multipurpose spaces, a 15,000-square-foot double gymnasium to host basketball and volleyball tournaments (with movable acoustic walls that allow the space to be subdivided into up to four cells), and a 17,200-square-foot aquatics hall. The aquatics hall is designed for optimal water and air quality, and includes a 25-metre, 8-lane competition pool with a climbing wall and movable floor, dedicated athlete and spectator areas, and therapy and leisure basins. Both gymnasium and aquatics hall feature balanced daylighting from two elevations, as well as skylights and upper clerestories. Both areas are sunk 2.6 feet below the lobby and circulation areas to create more space for formal bleachers, to enhance views from the lobby area, and to allow for ease of operation during tournaments by partitioning participants from spectators.
On the second floor are a fitness centre, yoga studio, and viewing areas, all circumscribed by a running track that encircles the building. This track, which includes a lane with a grade change, helps break up the building mass by floating outside the perimeter of the lower floor—creating covered areas at the entrances, providing solar control over the south-facing gymnasium windows, and offering exceptional views overlooking the surroundings. Given the Facility’s residential context, all mechanical systems—including the cooling tower—are contained within two enclosures on the second floor to minimize noise pollution.