Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre

Surrey, BC
Construction Cost: $46 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 94,180
Occupancy Date: December 2015

Located in one of Canada’s most rapidly growing cities, the Grandview Heights area is anticipated to increase significantly in density over the next 10 years, and the aquatic center is the first step in a larger vision for a campus of wellness, learning, healthful living and sports excellence. 

The facility includes a 50-meter lap pool designed to FINA standards for competitive diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo, as well as a leisure pool, two hot tubs, a sauna and a fitness center overlooking the pools. The waterslide is visible through extensive glazing on the site’s most prominent corner, inviting people in. 

An undulating roof — the world’s longest- span timber catenary roof — achieves the clear spans required for pools using a very shallow structure, reducing the building volume and saving in material and energy costs. The dynamic roof form rises where required to provide clearances for the Olympic dive platform on one end and a waterslide on the other.

While both a training facility and key venue for regional, national and international competitions, the center is also a hub for the developing community. The central lobby has clear views into the natatorium and the café to encourage users to stay before and after their activities. 

Judge's Comments

"The undulating and warped ceiling forms define the two different pool areas within this dynamic aquatics center." — Philip Laird

"Dramatic wood structure threads its way through the length of this large facility, unifying it. Wonderful and welcoming transparency." — Dave Larson

"The design rests on a highly sculptural building section and the definition of a structurally innovative technology. Extensive glazing complements this bold sculpture." — ­Jeff Penner