The growing Town of Cochrane needed to replace its aging aquatic and curling facility. The town had a goal of providing a facility that catered to all generations and user groups. Additionally, the town’s Western Heritage Guidelines, which promote architecture that maintains the spirit of Cochrane’s first settlement in 1870, had to be met. The design team conducted extensive user group sessions, public engagement events and surveys that informed the design solution.
The facility’s main entry opens onto a lobby filled with natural light and communal seating. The aquatic center features a warm-water therapy pool, a leisure pool, water slides, a lazy river, a zero-depth beach entry and an eight-lane lap pool. The curling club features six full-size ice sheets, three junior-size ice sheets, a full-service lounge and a convertible surface area that can accommodate various functions.
Originally approved for a $45 million construction budget, the cost estimate grew to more than $55 million due to the town including an NHL-sized rink. To justify the $10 million difference, the team adapted the design to accommodate a flexible surface area that converts to various rink sizes, including a curling rink, and dryland functions. Ultimately, the efficient facility design reduced the final construction cost to $48 million.