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Emerald Hills Aquatic Centre

Strathcona County, AB
Construction Cost: $25 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 57,000
Occupancy Date: September 2016

The right height & light
In order to provide a low-glare environment in the natatorium, the building’s triple-glazed openings are minimized to four strategic locations and shaped to maximize their effect. Low glazing to the west provides park views, and high light from the north is designed to bounce off the angled ceiling to ensure evenly distributed light. In addition, the building’s sloping roof provides maximum volume in the natatorium while maintaining a lower interior building height.

Expanding youth opportunities
The Emerald Hills Aquatic Centre was part of Strathcona County’s “Aquatic Strategy,” which aimed to expand the capacity of safe, affordable and accessible aquatic opportunities for the community. Situated within the Emerald Hills Regional Park and physically connected to Archbishop Jordan High School, the Emerald Hills Aquatic Centre offers programs specifically targeted toward children. Features such as a tot pool offer recreation opportunities for younger kids, and a children’s teaching pool and adjustable-depth lap pool are used for swimming lessons for all ages. The new facility accommodates the growing community by providing much-needed space for swimming programs. The facility also features gender-neutral family change rooms, ensuring access and inclusivity for all.

A healthful place for healthful activities
A goal of the design was to create a healthful environment. Using a flocculant filtration process that removes swimmer-created organic matter, the facility achieves European DIN standards and the highest level of water clarity and air quality. Perimeter aluminum acoustic wall paneling provides a quiet sonic aquatic environment for comfort, safety and ease of instruction.


  • 25-meter, 6-lane lap pool
  • Adjustable-floor therapy pool
  • Tot pool
  • Hot tub
  • Steam room
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