Contractor: Bird Construction
Structural Lead: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.
Wood Supplier: Western Archrib
Building Owner / Client: City of Calgary
Other Associated Company: YMCA Calgary
Text description provided by the architects. The Remington YMCA is among the newest and most striking wellness facilities in western Canada, serving the citizens of Calgary and the surrounding area as a polestar for health, wellness, and community spirit. The YMCA’s expansive glazing and bright, open spaces invoke a sense of connection, sparking interest and encouraging participation. As a bustling hub in a new urban community, the facility embodies the City of Calgary’s strategy to build vibrant communities, and features leisure and competition pools, a hot tub and sauna, a gymnasium, running track, fitness area, daycare, childminding, and public library.
Guided by the goal to create an inclusive and connected interior environment, GEC developed a functional program that maximizes connections between program elements. While traditional wellness facilities typically separate each program element, the Remington YMCA celebrates the integration of activities. From the central spine of the facility users can see the natatorium, the glass-walled gymnasium, the library, and the daycare. One central control point leads a visitor to each distinct activity area. Overhead a floating running track encircles the gymnasium adding dynamic energy to each space. Extensive glazing allows natural light to illuminate most spaces and visually connects users with the outdoors. Timber is used prominently throughout the facility for its structural, aesthetic, and sustainable qualities. The glulam beams run the length of the facility supporting the long-span spaces and lending a natural warmth to the urban facility.
Universal inclusiveness and accessibility were pillars of the design, supporting all abilities and demographics for a safe, welcoming environment. Responding to Canada’s evolving cultural and family needs, GEC designed the YMCA’s universal changeroom: the first of its kind in Alberta and among few in Canada. The universal change room provides an open, barrier-free change area to support a diversity of abilities, orientations, and family arrangements. Additional design features include brail wayfinding, a barrier-free environment, pool-lifts, double-wide corridors and entries, and an audio system compatible with acoustic guidance technologies.
The Remington YMCA is sustainably designed to reflect a uniquely Calgarian perspective. The site is the terminus for the existing storm water canal and has integrated sustainable storm water techniques including riparian vegetation and bio retention areas. The heat and power co-generation system, which produces electrical and thermal energy from natural gas, significantly reduces waste energy and greenhouse gas emissions, the operational cost of the facility, and the capital costs of a boiler capacity and backup generator. The use of timber throughout this LEED® Gold certified facility effectively sequesters carbon in the material reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
With community and connectivity at its core, the design of the Remington YMCA is an intelligent, inclusive response to an evolving environment. The facility expresses a character shaped by the citizens and the city it serves.