Award Winner - May 2009
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Sports Mecca

Hershey Centre Sports Complex
Mississauga, Ontario

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Parkin Architects Limited in Toronto

Size: 120,000 square feet

Project Cost: $36.3 million (Canadian)

Quick Tour:

  • Multipurpose gymnasium
  • Gymnastics training center
  • Indoor fieldhouse
  • Lobby and common areas
  • 24 interconnected changing rooms


ississauga may be the sixth largest city in Canada, but when it comes to sports and recreation for the community, the city offers an amenity of gigantic proportions. The city's recently completed Hershey Sports Complex represents the final phase of an ambitious three-phase, 75-acre sports development that includes a 5,400-seat NHL spectator arena and three community ice pads in the original development. The final phase added a fieldhouse with a regulation-size FIBA soccer field, a triple gymnasium and a separate gymnastics training area.

While the various functions are physically interconnected for ease of operations, the core design goal for the Sports Complex was to create a unique, yet complementary identity. The construction of the complete facility under one roof allows for a single management organization, saving considerable costs by sharing staff across the complex.

Located on a long, narrow sloping site, the design presented challenges, as well as opportunities. A sweeping D-shaped boulevard provides access from either end and allows the complex to be centrally located at the widest portion, creating a more dynamic approach from north and south and allowing more individual identity, as well as access, to the three major components. The building is recessed into the sloping site, reducing the overall mass and visual impact, while providing a natural vertical separation of spectators and public areas from service and players facilities. The design also takes advantage of the sloping site by recessing the event level one storey into the ground, further reducing the building's mass.

The transparent main entrance and lobby serve as a visual cue to welcome spectators and participants. Its central location provides clear views to all activity areas and circulation routes. Bold colors identify the major program areas, and are coordinated with site and building signage.

To convey a unified appearance for the three-phase project, exterior finishes use the same colored architectural block and prefinished composite metal wall panel vocabulary, while banded masonry "feature" walls and an intricate curtainwall design create a recognizable, unique entry.

The exterior materials also serve to unify the facility with other civic buildings by employing colors and materials at the bottom of the structure that unite it with other civic buildings. Above, bright silver vertical insulated metal panels with horizontal trim pieces visually minimize the height of the building while adding a bit of sparkle to the exterior.

Originally conceived in 1997, the master plan for the site has now been fully realized. Impressively, the entire course of the three-phase project has seen the same design and construction team working together to achieve outstanding results.



W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Very strong site and building plan. A wonderful selection of exterior and interior building materials. The exterior and interior building composition form together seamlessly. The deep overhangs over the glass curtainwall make this a striking architectural statement.

Tom Poulos

Very thoughtful approach to minimizing the height of a very large building footprint without compromising function.

Colleen McKenna

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Associate Architect:

ZAS Architects Inc.

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