Atlas Tube Centre, WFCU Pools and Library
Client : Town of Lakeshore
Area : Phase 1: 173,700 sf Phase 2: 25,800 sf
Program : Phase 1: Triple-Pad Arena (Spectator Seating, Changerooms), Double Gymnasium, Fitness Centre, Yoga Studio, Indoor Track, Branch Library, Child Care Centre, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Concession, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Tennis Courts, Cricket Fields, Soccer Fields) Phase 2: Aquatic Centre (6-Lane 25m Training Pool, Leisure Pool, Lazy River, Changerooms)
The Atlas Tube Centre is the prime recreational and social hub for the town of Lakeshore, Ontario, on the south shore of Lake St. Clair. Located in a historically agriculture-based area, Lakeshore is today a rapidly growing community, and the Centre is its most important civic facility, providing space for tournaments, trade shows, performances, and social events.
The centre’s development responded to some atypical and demanding constraints, including a requirement that the final design meet federal and provincial funding guidelines, even while the final budget and building area were subject to change during the design process. Both this requirement and the desire for a facility that could support a wide variety of functions demanded a final design conceived with the need for extreme elasticity in mind.
To achieve this flexibility, MJMA developed a foundational program of two parallel bars—one turned over to “cold” activities, the other to “warm” ones—linked by an open circulatory system organized around a “central park.” This central space, with its continuous corridors, rentable community rooms, and a concession area, forms the connective tissue between the two flanking bars and offers a large social space for communal gathering. The entirety is configured to respond to the daylighting and sustainability needs of its interior program.
The “cold program” bar, which houses a long-span program of three ice pads and a viewing gallery, is topped by a saw-tooth roof that supports 65,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels on its south-facing inclines, with transparent polycarbonate panels on the north-facing inclines for non-glare daylighting throughout the arena halls. The “warm program” bar, by contrast, houses community rooms, a gym and walking track, library, and planned aquatic centre bounded by windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding fields or tinted perimeter glazing paired with linear skylights for balanced soft daylighting. Additional outdoor amenities include athletics fields and baseball diamonds, as well as a splash pad.
Usership of the Centre continues to grow. After its opening, which saw the Centre replace a series of aging arenas, registrations jumped by a third during the first quarter alone; this annual registration figure is expected to increase eightfold with the opening of the aquatic centre in Phase 2.