The Sherwood Community Centre is a community hub for the Town of Milton, located 80 kilometers west of Toronto, and a “gateway” project at the entrance of the town’s main street.
The program includes an aquatic center, a branch library, a twin-pad arena, a fitness studio and multipurpose community rooms. These main program elements are arranged around a flexible, central social space that has interior views to the arenas and pool and opens directly to the library reading room. The building plan form wraps the library, pool and social heart around a large exterior courtyard with reading and garden spaces. It is an efficient building footprint that connects to green space, maximizes views of program areas and minimizes corridors.
The building was designed with rational structural steel heights and spans. This planning discipline formed a simple, sculptural massing that then allowed the construction budget to incorporate elegant materials and to allow for the garden courtyard to be the primary central public space. Eramosa limestone panel walls and white oak ceilings relate directly to the facility’s unique location at the foot of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment. Natural light is introduced into all rooms. Continuous skylight slots at the edge of the lobby and natatorium allow light to play onto the stone and tile wall surfaces. Insulated polycarbonate panels provide abundant natural light into the arenas, and a full-height curtain wall opens the interior social space to the courtyard.
The building exterior is an interpretation of the 19th century “board and batten” farmhouse cladding pattern familiar to the area, with the historic wall texture reinterpreted in vertical charcoal-gray zinc wall panels.