The Cassie Campbell Community Center in Brampton creates a unique set of spaces for indoor and outdoor programming. Designed by Perkins+Will, the main program elements include a natatorium, indoor running track, gymnasium, and figure skating center of excellence, twinned with a community hockey rink. The program elements are expressed as a series of boldly cantilevered gull wing roofs floating above masonry walls. These stone and block elements frame and organize the surrounding landscapes and outdoor program areas, which include a children’s play area, splash pad, basketball court, and entry plaza.
A long timber trellis provides an interstitial space between outdoor and indoor programs and articulates a pedestrian link between the two main entrances as the south and west sides of the building. Within the building the public circulation is designed as a series of informal spectator lounges where a multitude of leisure and athletic pursuits can be viewed at once.
The City of Brampton was looking for architecture that was bold, modern and at the same time would fit into a residential context and convey a warm and inviting atmosphere. The Fletcher’s Meadow region of Brampton is home to many new Canadians. The area represents many cultures, creating a community with great ethnic diversity. As a result, the client and architects felt the need to develop an architectural language that was uniquely Canadian and that would exemplify a civic presence for this emerging community. Heavy timber, wood composite cladding and natural Wiarton limestone are used to create an architecture with regional materiality and character.
The warmth of wood the wood elements and the hierarchy of their assembly are used to bring a human scale to a very large building, most notably at the three main entries and at the timber pergola which frames the building’s active fore court. Wood was chosen for its inherent sustainability. Wood is a locally harvested product with low embedded energy cost that is inherently renewable. While external wood elements require ongoing maintenance, they present a highly durable and long lasting solution if properly cared for.
Within the pool environment a wood structure is by far the preferred solution as it requires virtually no maintenance and will resist the corrosive environment indefinitely. In such an environment, even the most carefully detailed and coated steel components will begin to require extensive remedial work over time in the endless battle against corrosion. In this context wood provides excellent life cycle costing.