MacBain Community Centre

Niagara Falls, ON
Construction Cost: $20 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 107,000
Occupancy Date: September 2005

Ahybrid civic center that condenses several public activities into one location, MacBain Community Centre contains a YMCA, a branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library, city parks and recreation department offices, a childcare center, and several privately leased health-related offices. Judges noted a ?skillfully integrated? organizational plan that inverts the traditional model, placing large public halls that contain the swimming pool and gymnasium in a central strip, landlocked by municipal functions on one side and institutional YMCA uses on the other. One judge described the center as ?a sophisticated interpretation of a simple concept,? making special mention of the ?dynamic interior materials? specified by the project?s designers.

The central lobby serves to provide clarity of circulation, security and views into all program spaces. As users enter the building, the open lobby ? continuously lit with diffuse light from etched skylights ? showcases a hub of activity within the recreational spaces of the pool and gymnasium.

Judge's Comments

Nicely organized plan with visual integration of pool, library and gymnasium.
— Amado Fernandez

The hybrid programming energizes a dynamic and masterfully considered building that the community should be extremely proud of.
— John Kane

A wonderful exterior that incorporates balance and a contrast of materials. Simple detailing on the interior makes it successful.
— Frank Beans