This sports and fitness facility is primarily intended to serve the student population of St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology. The facility includes a triple gym which will be the largest gym complex in southern Ontario with flexible layout for large college sports events and community/school tournaments. Our design approach focused on providing a brand new state of the art sports training facility looking to St. Clair’s future athletic achievements while celebrating the champions of the past.
The main entrance rotunda flows into the cavernous connecting link running the length of the building providing access to the triple gymnasium, suspended running track, team rooms, second floor fitness centre and permanent bleachers. This circulation space also serves as the Hall of Fame with planned interactive displays of sport awards and video highlights of St. Clair College varsity history. This great hall is expressed on the building exterior as a segmented spine-like form providing indirect day lighting through a series of light scoops. These same light scoops serve to animate the building exterior at night with programmable coloured LED up-lighting providing a visual expression of the excitement from within the facility.
Indirect natural light is invited to enter the building in many areas of the new facility which are too often relegated to windowless spaces. The varsity team rooms are drenched with indirect natural light providing an uplifting space in contrast to the usual ‘four walls and a bench’ locker rooms. The 10,000 sq. ft. fitness facility on the second floor level has a wall of glass the length of the room providing a spectacular view of the campus and woodlot beyond. Sun studies were used to ensure that no direct sunlight will reach the triple gymnasium courts to create glare that would interfere with players’ or spectators’ ability to see.
Internal views and sightlines from one area to another were designed to provide openness and awareness of others and their commitment to athletic achievement and physical fitness. This unique athletic facility will serve the St. Clair College students to live healthier lives and support varsity sports teams for many record-breaking years to come.