Designed to reflect the community’s health, culture and values, the facility seamlessly emerges from the landscape to celebrate the connections between the interior and the outdoors. Situated on a site that drops four stories from northeast to southwest, and bound by street, streams, forest and playing fields, topography influenced the multi-level plan. More important was applying the project charter, consisting of 10 principles that capture the essence of the North Vancouver community.
Program spaces are organized as arts and administration; public activity; access-controlled activity; and below-grade parking. The building is organized by small scale spaces facing north and large scale spaces facing south. An interconnected circulation “spine” bisects the building as the principal organizing element.
Primary spaces include: an indoor, 25-metre pool and leisure pools, for adult and rehabilitation programming (with wheelchair lifts), exercise class studio (with induction loop floor map for hearing impaired), fitness centre, and gymnasium. Other spaces include racquet courts, art studio, pottery studio, youth, senior and child care centres, and meeting rooms.
The lobby emphasizes outdoor connectivity, characteristic of this mountainside community, featuring a coffee shop and seating; support spaces include facility administration and the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission offices. The entire centre serves as a place for users to connect, converse and create—for a total wellness experience.
Inspiring the design is the objective of animating and integrating the facility into its surroundings. Horizontal geometry on the north elevation emphasizes site grades; southern elevation is organized similarly, but at larger scale, taking advantage of abundant natural light, adding vibrancy to program spaces. The east, forest-facing elevation is understated, with a large glazed surface at the corner, providing a visual connection to activities from the street. The west provides an inviting entry and public plaza stepping down the site with mountain and forest backdrops.