Clarkson Community Centre Expansion
Client : City of Mississauga
Area : 18,300 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (5-Lane 25m Lap Pool, Changerooms), Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Administrative and Support Spaces
Completion : August 2011
In an established neighbourhood of single-family houses, the Clarkson Community Centre revitalizes an important focal point of civic life in southwest Mississauga, Ontario, with a much-needed venue for new community programs.
MJMA’s expansion comprises a new 25-metre lap pool and a leisure basin—employing pool-area heat recovery, CFC- and HCFC-free cooling equipment, water-conserving bathroom fixtures and carefully modulated passive daylighting—as well as a new lobby to join the aquatics hall to the existing Centre.
The area’s built-up nature required the Centre’s expansion to make best use of the existing site. Accordingly, the expansion projects in the direction of Truscott Drive, the main access road to the southeast, strengthening the Centre’s identity along this main artery, and linking it to an existing skate park.
A projecting volume allows for copious glazing on three sides, generating passive advertising by communicating the interior programming to the exterior while also opening up the building to natural light and views that connect it to the fabric of the surrounding neighbourhood. The resulting transparency also helps to quickly orient visitors within the program.
While the main entrance is situated to the southwest, facing away from Truscott Drive, a large canopy and building sign visible on approach create a strong focal point for the Centre’s community presence. From the new entrance lobby, the interior circulation now flows into an exterior plaza and, beyond it, the skate park. From indoors to out, these communal spaces form the social heart of the Centre. Existing pedestrian and cycle routes to the Centre have been maintained or enhanced, drawing visitors to the plaza’s abundant outdoor seating, bicycle parking and landscaping—an open, dynamic space placed adjacent to the skate park to encourage members of the community to linger, promoting their interactions with the space and with each other as they watch kids in the skate park and the unfolding of daily life.