Innisfil Recreation Complex

Innisfil, Ont.
Construction Cost: $30 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 140,000
Occupancy Date: November 2008

The Innisfil Recreation Complex, a joint venture between the Township of Innisfil and the YMCA, marks the next generation in civic architecture, both for its innovation in sustainability and in programmatic resolution, as well as for its response to the rural vernacular and its management model relying on multiple partnerships.

The facility serves the diverse needs of all age groups within the township’s communities, integrating a wide range of highly functional recreation and community facilities into a single complex and simultaneously creating a lively and layered public space that acts as a social hub. Each of the major program spaces — the aquatics hall, gymnasium, arenas, fitness center and multipurpose rooms — was designed as a multifunctional space, and consideration of lighting, ventilation and the provision of support spaces was paramount. A twin-pad ice arena, aquatics center, gymnasium, indoor running track, fitness facilities and outdoor playing fields are among the long list of amenities available to the community. Elements are organized into a singular form to be read as an entity within the landscape, mirroring the single-building typology of the agricultural vernacular.

Emphasis has been placed on maximizing the viewing of activities within the complex. The lobby allows for generous views into all the primary program spaces, and has been designed to accommodate casual meetings and allow for the comfortable monitoring of children participating in various programs.

Judge's Comments

From outside to inside, and from inside out, this building holds together as a complete and beautifully designed facility. Visibility of activities was a clear theme in the design that was very well executed.
— Bill McCullough

This project transforms a simple box-like form through a series of carefully orchestrated architectural moves and wonderfully refined detailing. The overall effect is at once highly modern and playful.
— Duff Balmer

On the exterior, transparent areas are artfully carved out of simple geometries and broad expanses of metal siding. The approach is efficient and dramatic, especially at night, and blends well with the site's agricultural building context.
— Craig Bouck