Project Category: Public Recreation | New Construction
Total Construction Cost: $7,100,000 CAD
Total Gross Square Feet: 25,000 sq ft |
Approximate Cost Per Square Foot: $284/sq ft
How was the facility funded?: Government funds
Northside Community Centre is positioned as a linkage between a local elementary school and a popular skateboard park. The building is situated on the north of the site to allow for high visibility from two major City arterial roads that intersect on the northwest corner of the property. Also, the orientation of the building responds to solar gain and wind factors.
Community Centre parking is placed to the north of the building to allow for easy vehicle access from 77th Street, but more importantly a lawn area on the south side of the building creates a gathering space between the centre and the school, promoting shared space for car free uses and activities.
Functional planning is influenced by the exterior pathway that is used by children when moving between the skate park and school. A circulation spine that connects main and secondary entries provides access to all activity spaces and vertical circulation.
Critical to the project program is the merging of recreation, arts and culture spaces into one facility in which several rooms have flexible configurations and connectivity to other program and circulation spaces.
The main entrance lobby is programmable and welcomes visitors to the building. Arts, Event and Youth Rooms are located on the south side of the building, each with direct access to the outdoors.
A large centrally located Gathering and Activity Space serves double duty as a non-regulation size gymnasium as well as a gathering hall. The centre of the facility is made dynamic and flexible by operable walls that connect the Gathering and Activity Space with the Event Room. This flexibility facilitates art shows, community fairs, dance and martial arts competition, and other gathering and display events.
The lower floor of the building is completed by a skaters lobby that encourages a connection between building users and skate park participants.
The upper floor of the building utilizes a similar circulation spine to help create efficiencies, promote passive safety and create transparency within the building. Upon accessing the second floor, users first encounter an activity room used primarily for dance and fitness classes.
Along the south side of the upper floor is a community kitchen used for cooking and nutrition classes, a multi-use room, boardroom, and open office space (each with versatile uses and configurations). All of these spaces have views into the Gathering and Activity Space below, and access to a large roof deck space. At each end of the circulation are views down into the lobby below, and in the case of the west end of the building, views towards the skate park.
The interior of the building uses wood (detailing, millwork, ceilings and flooring) to accentuate a clean and crisp neutral color palette. Emphasis is also given to ensuring each space is provided with ample natural light.
The buildings exterior expression is intended to be provocative and catch the eyes of drivers commuting along fast moving 77th Street. Generous use of colored glazing in each lobby creates double height lantern effects that clearly define the building as a public facility worth exploring. The use of customized pre-cast concrete panels accentuates the glazing and provides durability in a City that experiences sometimes harsh winter conditions. A curtain wall featuring wood caps adds a final degree of detail and warmth that contrasts with the glass and concrete exterior.