Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2020 Recipient

University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre
Vancouver,
BC
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

MJMA and Acton Ostry Architects

Lead design architect(s): 

MJMA and Acton Ostry Architects

Occupancy: August 1, 2016
Construction Budget: $33.5 million

“HOW CAN THE NEW AQUATIC CENTRE EFFECTIVELY TRAIN OLYMPIANS, SERVE ITS COMMUNITY, AND ENHANCE THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE. HOW CAN IT OPERATE ‘LEARN-TO-SWIM’ PROGRAMS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME RUN A 1000 PERSON SWIM MEET?”

The requirement to co-program elite level training and competitions with daily community use led to a 2-sided pool hall divided by a ‘Y’ shaped columns and a continuous skylight bisecting the building. In section, a translucent screen creates a luminous barrier between the two spaces, reflecting abundant sunlight into the ‘leisure’ side, while providing the required controlled and balanced light into the ‘competitive’ side.

Jury Comment(s): 

“This campus building stands out for its luminous interiors. Being inside is like being in a white tent on a summer day all year round. Outside, it transforms swimming into a rambunctious event, drawing in passersby and animating the campus. The clear organization of pools and utility spaces into three zones is intelligently reinforced through the structural organization, especially the sculpted Y-shaped columns, and the canted ceilings.”

Jury members

Click for full version: 
South Elevation

PHOTO: Shai Gil

South Elevation

PHOTO: Shai Gil

Leisure Side of Pool Hall

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Competition Side of Pool Hall

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Photo 1 (left): Translucent Screen Separating Leisure and Competition Sides of Pool Hall. Photo 2 (right): Pool Deck

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Athletes Way

PHOTO: Ema Peter