Audley Recreation Centre
Client : Town of Ajax
Area : Phase 1: 54,600 sf Phase 2 (Ajax Public Library): 36,600 sf
Program : Phase 1: Aquatic Centre (6-Lane 25m Lap Pool, Leisure Pool, Changerooms), Gymnasium, Fitness Studios, Dance Studios, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Youth Room, Teaching Kitchen, Child Care Centre, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Sports Courts, Sports Fields, Skate Park, Splash Pad, Playground, Multi-Use Trails) Phase 2 (Ajax Public Library): Branch Library, Active Living Centre, Community Hall
Occupying 100 acres of land in the city of Ajax, Ontario, the Audley Recreation Centre was conceived as the anchor of a new neighbourhood with the intention of growing and sustaining community. Combining overlapping indoor and outdoor programs, the Centre serves as a model for integrating diverse programs within a residential suburban context. Key to this is its reconfigured site plan; erected at the location of an existing complex of sports fields, the Centre localizes parking for multiple public amenities on site, streamlining traffic for the surrounding area. The Centre is also easily accessible by walking paths.
The Centre’s main entrance faces north, overlooking a skatepark, parking, and baseball diamonds beyond. The entryway is recessed well beneath the building massing, flanked by exterior walls on both sides. To the east, a curtain wall offers approaching visitors a clear view into the basketball court and gives the court ample western exposure. To the west, a second wall of glazing looks into the aquatics centre; this glazing extends into the main lobby and lounge, where a viewing gallery allows visitors to observe the pool area from behind glass.
From this lobby, the building flows into the major programmatic areas via spacious corridors. The corridor leading south from the lobby, designated as a public art gallery, ultimately loops past the administrative offices to the south perimeter of the west wing, ushering guests into the aquatics centre’s change rooms. The aquatics hall itself, which holds a competition pool and a leisure pool side by side, features expansive windows on its north and west elevations, offering views overlooking the lawn and its hiking trails.
The lobby also flows into a broad corridor leading east, to the basketball court on its north side, and to a youth centre, rentable multipurpose rooms, and a daycare on the other. These south-facing rooms also feature full-height windows, protected from solar gain by a deep cantilevered roof. This passive lighting strategy, along with a green materials palette and a touch-enabled display that allows visitors to learn about the Centre’s sustainability features, are key to the expression of the project’s LEED Gold certification.