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University of Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre

Guelph, ON
Construction Cost: $42M (CAD)
Area / Square Feet: 180,000 sf
Occupancy Date: October 2016

The goal of this project was to balance the needs of high-performance varsity athletes, create a campus social and wellness hub supporting student life, and provide a regional event center for the surrounding community.

The expansion includes a state-of-the art fitness center with a club-like atmosphere, a triple gymnasium/event center with retractable bowl seating for 2,000, a running track with an additional 400 viewing spaces, student and varsity change rooms, a climbing wall, and program spaces to accommodate recreation, intramurals, fitness instruction and varsity activity. A primary driver for the design was the creation of a variety of accessible student spaces to foster social interaction and encourage exploration of the many programs available. The new complex satisfies the athletic and academic needs of the University and Guelph community and acts as a venue for major sporting, social gathering, cultural and conference events. The new east face of the facility has been designed to display University of Guelph athletics to the community and presents a large-scale, bold and fluid new profile to the adjacent street.

Gryphon Athletics red denotes the main public circulation path, making a clear statement to visiting teams that they have entered Gryphon territory. The bold color contrasts with the surrounding neutral palette of materials and finishes, providing clear wayfinding and integrated accessibility requirements for the main public route.

University of Guelph

Judge's Comments

“The project is well-executed on all levels with a clear, simple palette of materials and use of color to integrate the exterior, interior, branding and overall vision of athletics and wellness community.” — Doug Barraza

“The Guelph Athletic Center displays a very deliberate use of interior color that speaks to circulation and individual movement in a healthy and exciting way.” Emily Parris

“The University of Guelph Athletic Center presents a contemporary expression and the clean interior design and use of team colors and graphics are top notch.” — Don Jones