Facilities of Merit 2009: Newcastle Community Centre

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Newcastle Community Centre

Year in Showcase: 2009

Project Description

Inspired by the traditional farmstead architecture of the region, the Newcastle Community Centre consciously draws from elements of the vernacular in its overall form, materials and construction techniques.

A series of heavy timber-framed sloping roofs define a sheltered entry and signify the respective program volumes of the aquatics center, multiuse room and gymnasium. The building is divided into two levels, which mediate the site’s natural grade changes. On the uppermost level, aligned with the street, the building establishes a strong urban edge defined by the canted Galvalume-clad wall of the pool. Along this face, a low wood-framed window extending the length of the pool offers a compelling glimpse of the activities within while respecting the scale of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Internally, a lounge with a large central fireplace dominates the main common spaces, creating a strong social focus and a warm and inviting area from which to watch the various activities. Fluid integration of meeting rooms and social spaces helps foster greater interaction and a stronger sense of community.

The facility’s order extends into the surrounding landscape, creating a series of terraces that organize parking, drop-off zones and building levels. A secondary phase will see a twin-pad ice arena occupy the lowest terrace of the site, allowing the natural landforms to be preserved while screening the rinks and associated services.

Judge's Comments

The exterior character and form is wonderfully bold and very enjoyable. I especially enjoy the focus on meaningful details, like the sound panels that line the upper part of the natatorium and reinforce the obtuse angle of the building structure.
— Jack Patton

The building offers an appropriate interpretation of the local farmstead vernacular through the integration of regional materials, forms and detailing.
— David Dymecki

As opposed to numerous submitted schemes that left the large public halls with exposed, utilitarian structure and ceilings, the center's rooms are defined by crisply detailed custom steel portals and beautifully executed heavy timber walls that wrap into ceilings.
— Vik Jaunkalns

Project Details

Architect: Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners; Toronto, Ont.
Construction Cost: $15.4 million (Canadian)
Square Feet: 61,430
Occupancy: August 2008

Access Ramps/Stairs: Northern Stainless & Rail Products

Basketball Backboards/Supports: Gymnasium & Health Equipment Ltd.

Dehumidifiers: Seresco Technologies Inc.

Divider Curtains: Qued, Div. of Seaway Mats Inc.

Filters: Nemato Corp.

Floor Finishes: Aacer Flooring LLC

Flooring: Dal-Tile Corp.

Gutters: Grate Technologies

Ladders/Grab Bars: Paragon Aquatics, Div. of Pentair

Saunas/Whirlpools: Saunacore

Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Aquam Aquatic Specialist Inc.

Scoreboards/Timing Systems: Nevco Scoreboard Company

Surface: Dal-Tile Corp.

Tennis Court Nets/Posts: Laurentian Industries Ltd.

Volleyball Nets and Standards: Laurentian Industries Ltd.

Water Play Features: USA Slide Inc.

Water Play Features: Vortex Aquatic Structures Int'l Inc.