Award Winner - May 2008
Something Old, Something New
District of Mission Leisure Centre
Mission, British Columbia, Canada
hen the District of Mission in Vancouver, British Columbia, outgrew its recreation facility, something had to be done. Rather than construct an entirely new center, the existing 74,000-square-foot facility was renovated and 71,000 additional square feet were added.
"It was an expansion and renovation, plus outdoor athletic work being done," said Larry Pedhora, project architect/manager and vice president of Cannon Design. "It was basically a transformation of streets as well—addresses changed, the approach changed, the use of land has changed. It's been completely revolutionized."
Pedhora noted that one of the big challenges for the project was that the project launched just as construction cost escalations—some of the most significant in the history of the province—were taking place.
"We needed to be flexible to adjust the scope of the project," he said. "We needed to prioritize where resources would be spent and proceed very carefully to make sure that we achieved the essentials. Managing the budget, schedule and scope was a severe test of everyone's expertise and a severe test of the client's ability to maintain construction. The District of Mission should be congratulated on its focus and commitment to healthy living despite some initial budget setbacks."
Additionally, it was important that the integration of new with old was seamless. "We commenced the project with a sincere desire to try to pull all these disparate objects into some kind of cohesive whole that could be read by every user, in every direction, to gain a sense of consistency," Pedhora said.
To that end, building faces were placed in front of other building faces to create this sense of exterior consistency. The previous approach to the facility was from the east, but the finished project has it on a different street. The outdoor athletic facilities were cleaned up and redistributed.
Because the facility combined elements that were already in existence with newer, unfamiliar ones, it was important that participants be pulled into the complex of several buildings right from the beginning. To that end, the facility is friendly and open, and many activities are highly visible. "It creates a sense of synergy between the different uses," Pedhora said.
Exterior and interior glazing was utilized to provide this sense of interconnectedness both from the outside in and also between spaces within the facility. Color also played a big role in consistency.
"We wanted now-related building masses to look like a fun place to be so we used fairly bold colors and we used materials in a continuous way to create a common thread running from one element to another," Pedhora said. "We tied the complex together on the outside while making it a lot of fun inside. The complexity is largely hidden."
W H A T T H E J U D G E S S A I D
Attractive use of wood ceilings in the new spaces. Wonderful
knitting together of existing with new.
Nicely articulated floor plan; great indoor leisure pool.
A S S O C I A T E D F I R M S
Read Jones Christofferson
Mechanical and Aquatic Engineering:
R.A. Duff & Associates Engineering
First Team Engineering
TASK Construction Management Inc.