North Kawartha Community Centre

Apsley, Ont.
Construction Cost: $11.3 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 62,000
Occupancy Date: January 2010

The North Kawartha Community Centre is part of a comprehensive, province-wide initiative to rethink and revitalize public architecture. The township, in collaboration with the design team, proposed a structure situated at the edge of a public park precinct that would function both as a health and wellness center and as the social heart of the community.

The project provides a focal point to the park while organizing indoor and outdoor public spaces into a single, multiuse regional destination.
Located in one of Ontario’s most beautiful natural settings — a stone’s throw from acres of glacial rock outcroppings, mature forests, spectacular lakes, and marshes and bogs humming with wildlife — the facility embraces a modest, robust and utilitarian architectural tradition. The sculptural expression is of a simple, canted prism, reminiscent both of a barn and a rock promontory.

Expanses of a simple, double-layered translucent polycarbonate wall system provide diffused natural light into all major program areas, and public skating can be run without electric light.

Strategically placed glazing takes advantage of orientation and shading, but also invites viewing into the community center from the exterior. The courtyard is an inviting cove, providing shade from humid summer heat and shelter from winter winds.

Judge's Comments

An excellent use of a tight budget — not a dollar was wasted. Strategic use of limited windows.
— David Bock

A very fitting solution for the particular site. Well detailed for the budget. Bold exterior.
— Greg Garlock

Powerful project. Simple and efficient plan. Stunning exterior that expresses program and context with the site. Robust and transparent interior — simple but appropriate.
— David Dymecki