Trent University’s newly expanded athletics centre was designed to enhance the visibility and scope of their athletics program, as well as upgrade their aging existing facility to meet sustainable goals. The concept carefully integrates a series of newly constructed and renovated spaces to achieve a total regeneration of their facility. This has resulted in significant growth in participation and membership rates and has fostered new alliances with outside sporting organizations seeking high caliber facilities.
The project is situated at the south end of the Symons Campus along the west side of the Otonabee River. Conceived as part of Trent’s overall master plan, the facility enhances visibility of the Athletics Complex, unifies indoor and outdoor recreational programs and creates a focal point for student life, as part of a new gateway zone to the Campus.
The building responds to Trent’s strong commitment to environmental stewardship, through an integrated approach to water, energy and resource conservation that targets LEED Silver certification. The building seamlessly integrates with its striking context utilizing natural and recycled materials that harmonize with the strong character of the campus, including copper, wood, polished architectural concrete block and black anodized aluminum. An emphasis on re-use and conservation was employed in the construction and siting of the building through the use of indigenous plant species and preservation of existing landscape and building features. Emphasis on healthy and comfortable environments was also a key focus, demonstrated through the use of energy efficient demand control ventilation and non-toxic materials, and more generally through the facility’s role in promoting healthier lifestyles and wellness.
A unique feature of the Athletics Complex is the addition of an innovative indoor rowing tank, which was designed in close collaboration with the University’s rowing club, a local yacht designer, and stainless steel pool manufacturer. This tank, which allows a full rowing team to simulate actual conditions and to effectively train indoors, was recently approved as an officially sanctioned Olympic training venue.