Seeking to create a community center that would revitalize its downtown, the City of Brantford teamed with Wilfrid Laurier University on the vision for a new community recreation complex. The design team engaged the two clients and the community in a highly collaborative process that ensured all ideas and possibilities were covered and needs were met in the best possible way.
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 identity 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 center is equipped with gyms, pools, meeting spaces, health clinic space and related spaces to support residents and community events.
At the building’s grand opening ceremony, Jim Commerford, president and CEO of the YMCA of Hamilton / Burlington / Brantford, said, “Research is clear. We can improve the well-being of people in our community by creating spaces for health, belonging and social connectivity. The Laurier Brantford YMCA is a response to this opportunity — bringing individuals, families and students together to improve overall wellbeing. Our two organizations share common values and a commitment to their local communities.”