University of Guelph Gryphons Football Pavilion
Client : University of Guelph
Area : 172,000 sf
Program : State-of-the-Art Fitness Centre, Training Rooms, Equipment Rooms, Video Rooms, Special Team Coordinator Rooms, Coaches Offices, Alumni & VIP Viewing Galleries, Multi-Purpose Rooms, Rooftop Viewing Terrace
Located near the northern limit of the University of Guelph’s campus, the Gryphons Football Pavilion is an extension to the existing multipurpose Alumni Stadium; the same project includes renovations to the original 1970 stadium itself. Following the wishes of the funding donor—an emeritus Guelph Gryphons head coach—the new Pavilion provides the football team with high-quality spaces unmatched in Ontario, solidifying the national reputation of the University’s football program, contributing to the recruitment of top future players, and uniting the student body.
Opened in 2018, the project consolidates training, therapy, and administrative facilities under a single roof. Clad in glass and charcoal grey vertical panels, the two-storey, 14,000-square-foot Pavilion houses both public and private spaces organized around atriums for copious natural light and fitted with operable windows for natural ventilation. Throughout its interior, the Pavilion features accents in red—the team colour—particularly in murals depicting athletic excellence. The use of a halftone motif, both painted and in the perforated patterns of walls, ceilings and railings, unifies the interior with a bold and distinct graphic language.
The Pavilion’s ground floor is turned over to team-oriented amenities, including a sauna, a players’ lounge with a kitchen and study spaces, state-of-the-art locker rooms with custom Corian lockers, a rehabilitation room, and hot and cold therapy pools featuring large mosaics of the Gryphons mascot. The eastern, field-facing façade is fully glazed to establish a visual link between training and performance.
Upstairs are staff offices, team classrooms, and AV-integrated boardrooms; here, flexible design allows these spaces to be converted into game-day viewing galleries for alumni and VIPs. This is especially true of the large multipurpose meeting hall overlooking the field. On the rooftop, a terrace offers optimal views with movable seating overlooking the end zone, parallel to the field-side grandstands. The terrace, like the second-floor hall, is rentable for community use, including concerts and receptions, conferences and catered events.
Opposite the field, the Pavilion faces onto a public street with its primary entrance and, wrapping around two sides of the building, a hardscaped forecourt. Large enough to host student and athletic events, the forecourt can also be merged with the street and plaza on game days, allowing for tailgating and outdoor community gatherings.