Grandview Heights Aquatic is a truly innovative design that embraces the needs of a developing community and sets a new standard of using wood in architecture.
When imagining the centre, the City of Surrey envisioned an iconic destination facility attracting athletes, international events, and families alike. Since opening in March 2016, the facility has received upwards of 2,500 visits a day, exceeding expectations and establishing itself as a true destination facility.
Grandview sets its world class aquatic facilities beneath the world’s longest span timber catenary roof ever built. The undulating roof form pushes the limits of wood as a structural element, highlighting its potential as a cost-effective, structurally-efficient, and aesthetically-pleasing building material. These roof undulations were driven as much by functional needs as aesthetic goals, accommodating the programmatic constraints of a dive tower and a water slide that each create natural high points at opposite ends of the building. The suspended wood ‘cables’ hang between concrete buttresses, at each end, braced at mid span by a central, concrete V-column. The extremely slender roof curves to clear the tall height requirements at each end, while reducing the building volume at lower points over the swim areas in the middle.
This innovative adoption of timber in tension permitted a structural depth of just 300mm for a 55m span - a design which defies convention. More than just an architectural achievement, the roof offers practical and economical benefits. The building volume created by the suspended roof is 20% less than that of the truss roof, making it that much more efficient to heat and cool.
Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre demonstrates what’s possible with an efficient structure, while minimizing material – creating an inspiring and memorable experience.