Recreation brings individuals together and builds communities around common interests. Rarely is that more evident among chosen Facilities of Merit® than it is with the 2018 class of 10 winning projects — which includes campus and community recreation centers, an aquatics center, a sports complex, an intramural building and two YMCAs. Even facilities housing intercollegiate athletics also make ample room for wellness enthusiasts.

Facilities of Merit winners were selected in July by a panel of seven architects at the conclusion of two days of deliberations at AB Media headquarters in Madison, Wis. Next month, the architects, consultants and facility owners behind each winning project will be honored at a reception at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

Thanks to all 62 entrants for helping ensure the program’s high level of competition, and congratulations to the 2018 Facilities of Merit. — The Editors

Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge


“This is a compelling use of an abstract roof form to unify the building’s curves. Understated interior design and the roof structural system all contribute to the great feeling of the building.” — Don Jones

Nestled in the foothills of the northwest part of Calgary, the Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge is a regional community and recreation center that combines sports and fitness activities with cultural and community uses. Inspired by the rolling landscape, the YMCA is an open and integrated facility connecting uses on the site with the activities inside.

“Public concourse is a vibrant and well-thought-out space with views to all major activity areas. Single roof form is bold, yet refined.” — Adam Bastjan

The building houses a hockey and leisure ice arena, a triple gymnasium, a running track, a large fitness area and studios, and an aquatics center with an eight-lane, 25-meter competition pool, a wave pool, a lazy river and vortex, a climbing wall, a water slide and a tots pool.

In addition to its fitness and recreation uses, Shane Homes YMCA has community program spaces including a 250-seat theater, art-making and display spaces, and a public library branch. It also incorporates tenant spaces for food services and physiotherapy.

“Certainly unconventional and bold, but graceful in concept and execution. Most probably love it or hate it. I’m in the first camp.” — Stephen Springs

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