The Aquatic Centre at Hillcrest Park

Vancouver, B.C.
Construction Cost: $34.8 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 66,500
Occupancy Date: August 2010

Part of the legacy initiative of the 2010 Olympics, the Aquatic Centre at Hillcrest Park is an addition to the Olympic curling venue, known as the Vancouver Olympic Centre. The first step in a conversion to a recreation complex that will also include a community center, public library, preschool and field house, the center won plaudits from AB’s panel of architects for being, as one judge said, “complementary to the existing Olympic structure, while being strikingly beautiful on its own.”

The utilization of wood as the main structural component of the center captured the attention of the judges, as did the use of color throughout. More than half of the wood used on the project, which anticipates LEED Gold certification, is Forest Stewardship Council-certified, and its use helped the designers succeed in connecting the natural interiors to the landscape and trees of the park beyond. Wood interior cladding, window casings and millwork also lend acoustic dampening and a warm aesthetic to the project.

Careful manipulation of the building massing minimized the effects of such a large structure in relation to nearby single-family homes, while providing a meaningful fit with existing trees on the site. The judges agreed that the architect had succeeded in forming a cohesive relationship between the facility, the site and the adjoining structure.

Judge's Comments

The wood structure's form is both elegant and practical. The shape provides for daylighting from both northern and southern exposures, and takes advantage of the views to the park and mountains in the distance.
Tom Scarlata

A simple and elegant structural solution. This addition to a recreation facility was carefully composed to complement both the existing building and the complex site.
Mark Bodien

An excellent example of blending simple forms and the appropriate materials to create a facility that celebrates light and color.
Mark Williams