Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Branksome Hall Athletics & Wellness Centre in Ontario, Canada by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
May 18th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
Branksome Hall was established as an independent all girls school in the residential South Rosedale Heritage Conservation District in the urban heart of the City of Toronto, Canada — now a leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The campus is set within a large 13-acre property characterized by lush, wooded ravine edges and open green spaces. The city’s extension of Mount Pleasant Road divided the campus into two sides and the students cross via a pedestrian bridge.
The new Athletic and Wellness Centre serves as the campus-wide meeting and gathering space with places to watch sport and provides informal studying spaces. It is a 2-storey, with green roof, building that includes an aquatic centre with teaching and training pools, gymnasium, fitness centre, yoga and dance studios, dining hall, servery, kitchen, open courtyards, ravine terraces, and administration and support spaces. The challenge was to fit the large volumes onto the building footprint and the requirements of competition volleyball in the gymnasium, with a 12m height restriction in the Rosedale residential neighbourhood. The aquatic hall is set one level lower with the gymnasium floating above. A series of transparent walkways with interconnected ground and second floors encourage students to pass by and see athletics – inspiring involvement in the athletic community. Large program spaces are balanced with intimate social interaction learning spaces with visual connections to nature and the ravine.
The new facility complements and provides a direct connection to its heritage and natural surroundings with a natural palette of materials, finishes, and textiles; with transparent views and abundant natural light permeating deep into program spaces and student commons. The subdued natural palette of concrete, light wood, masonry, stone and glass establishes an appropriate neutral backdrop to the colourful school uniforms, team jerseys and student life. Exterior glazing allow visibility to the life within, showcasing the Branksome Hall functions and creating an open and inviting public identity.