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