n rapidly growing Brampton, Ontario, meeting the needs of citizens means adjusting to changing demographics. Strongly composed of South Asians and new immigrants coming to the Greater Toronto region, the community responded to a needs assessment by asking for a place to play its sport of choice: soccer. The city reacted by building a landmark "Soccer Centre of Excellence"—but kept the facility flexible to ensure it would continue to meet changing demands from the community.
"City Council listened to the recreational needs of this community, and made the necessary adjustments," said Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell in a press release. "This is a great new facility for the citizens of Brampton."
Completed in May 2007, the building, with its indoor and outdoor soccer fields and other community amenities, is designed to meet the needs of the local community, as well as serving as a city-wide and regional draw. Amenities and pedestrian links get the community members in the immediate neighborhood to the site for a variety of activities, while at the same time, the facility's location at the corner of two major arterial roads—as well as its landmark design—create a base of operations for region-wide soccer fans.
But soccer isn't the only activity taking place here. The facility's wide array of indoor and outdoor activities serves to complement the four indoor soccer fields. Visitors who choose not to play soccer can take part in cricket or basketball, one of the many community programs, or simply play on the site's playground or sprayground. The facility was designed for flexibility—both current and future. It is convertible to hockey and other indoor sports. It also is scaled to allow four independent programs to run concurrently, including trade show events and community functions.
The city wanted a facility that would serve as a landmark while reinforcing the "city brand," and to that end, large-scale design gestures and innovative use of manmade and natural materials have garnered a strong community response. Full façade glazing and laminated glass graphics create "Suburban Billboards" for sport with translucent soccer imagery bathed in 'Brampton Blue," according to Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects.
Strips of colored glass are used dynamically throughout the building curtain wall, creating motion and activity. The saturated colors of the glass further reinforce the activities taking place on the fields by reflecting the vibrant colors of soccer attire and offsetting the austere silver and white palette. The liberal use of natural cedar tongue and groove throughout interior and exterior soffits and ceilings further warms the facility's appearance, and adds a natural quality to the building's aesthetic.
"The building develops a language of 'floating' interlocking planes with metallic outer shells and cedar-lined interiors," the architects stated. ""These planes comprehensively organize the site by forming clerestory towers and hooded overhangs, creating views in and through the building, while also creating visually interpenetrating program areas and filtered light inside."
Brampton Soccer Centre also was designed with careful attention to accessibility and sustainability. It is the first project in the city that fully integrates the new design accessibility standards of the city, and will serve as a template for future developments. In addition, sustainable principles were employed throughout the building, with the use of natural daylighting, zoned lighting control, solar shading and passive ventilation systems.
The facility has been a hit, both architecturally and with local citizens. The facility has received several design awards, including the 2007 National Post Design Exchange Bronze Awards for Commercial Architecture and Commercial Interior and the 2007 City of Brampton Urban Design Award.
More importantly, the Brampton Soccer Centre will meet the demand of the community. Staff anticipates 64,000 soccer players during the eight-month indoor season and 8,700 soccer and cricket players on an annual basis for the five-month outdoor season.
W H A T T H E J U D G E S S A I D
Beautiful details give human scale to the large circulation spaces. Great use of daylight, sparkling exterior.
An architectural jewel; tremendous use of daylighting!
Impressive show at nighttime.