The result of a dynamic partnership between the regional YMCA and Wilfrid Laurier University, the Laurier Brantford YMCA revitalizes the City of Brantford as a hub for community recreation and wellness. The two clients worked together through a highly collaborative design process that ensured all ideas and possibilities were uncovered and needs best met as they shaped a project to create exciting exciting new opportunities for students and local residents.
Located at the confluence of a dynamic city edge, the center is conceived as an integrated design that offers the public a unified and cohesive experience asserting a new identify to the block and city as a whole. The design focuses on three themes – memory, movement and landscape – as it draws upon the rhythms and patterns of buildings that previously filled the location while creating new possibilities.
The new features of the YMCA include an aquatics centre with two pools for lane swimming; childcare area; youth zone for recreational, social and leadership development programs; a double gym design for sports and competition with retractable stadium seating for 860 people; comprehensive cardio and weight training space; group fitness studios; student lounge; and health intake consultation rooms for specialized community-based healthcare programs.
The project received a prestigious Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award from Architect magazine in 2012 when it was in design. At that point, the jury said of the project: “It brings a historical neighborhood into the 21st century.”