Commonwealth Community Recreation Center is a joint-use partnership between the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club; combining football operations, stadium programming, and a recreation center. The facility adaptively reuses the 1978 stadium fitness center and connects these user groups over 4 stories through a cascading promenade and an innovative approach to materials and transparency. The project has revitalized a vacant stadium ground into a 24/7 urban park and community destination. The LEED-silver development includes a 60,000 sf 3-basin aquatic hall, 80,00 sf field house, 30,000 sf fitness center, running track, gymnasium, and 30,000 sf of community space and new Eskimo Administration and Operations.

Photography: Tom Arban

Three primary masses – Field House, Aquatics, and Gymnasium – respond to the dynamic triangulated geometries of the site and frame a central lobby space – ‘the Social Heart’. These, in turn, define three exterior forecourt spaces.

Photography: Tom Arban

The building responds to the scale of the stadium and its dynamic nature. The pool massing creates a prow-like gesture, suggesting speed and movement. A southern canopy shields direct light and unifies with the taller field house mass. The cost-effective silver metallic cladding is deeply carved to reveal a tessellated phenolic wood panel system. This rationalizes envelope geometries and frames large openings. Walls of variegated ceramic frit glazing modulates heat buildup, solar glare, and user privacy.

Photography: Tom Arban

The project’s planning interconnects the fabric of an underdeveloped neighborhood, creates a year-round community park, and draws the public from all three sides to a new Social Core. Park promenades are developed N-S and E-W through the building to connect the community, transit, and the community recreation center.

Photography: Tom Arban

Project Info
Architects: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
Location: Alberta, Canada
Associated Architect: HIP Architects (Local Architect)
Area: 220,000 sf
Year: 2012
Type: Sports Center
Photographs: Tom Arban

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