Chimo Aquatic and Fitness Centre

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Chimo Aquatic and Fitness Centre
The new Chimo Aquatic & Fitness Centre is the first phase of the renewal of the Coquitlam Recreation and Sports Centre. It is located at the centre of a campus of public facilities in South Coquitlam on the high point of land in an area that is predominantly single-family housing. Coquitlam recognized the importance of the project by supporting the concept that the building would be the centerpiece of the campus, expressing a commitment to health, well-being, sustainability and accessibility for all. The 3550-m2 program required a natatorium to accommodate a six-lane 25-meter pool, leisure pool, warm water lap pool, hot pool, steam and sauna. The change rooms serving the facility included standard change rooms for men and women and a very large universal change area for families, people with disabilities and anyone preferring private change cubicles and showers. The program also called for a state-of-the-art weight training and cardio fitness area, supplemented by an area for physiotherapy and sports medicine. Support areas included a reception / administration area and maintenance and pool mechanical areas. The massing concept that envisions the building in two distinct parts, the natatorium and the support functions, is a response to the program, the context of public facilities, the hilltop site, and Coquitlam’s vision for this project to be the “seed` for the renewal of the precinct. The natatorium is the “front room` of the centre and is housed in a double height glass box situated directly adjacent Poirier Street, with a reduced setback giving this space the strongest street presence of all facilities in the area. The support functions of the program are located in a contrasting three-floor bar structure of metal and brick-clad volumes at the back of the natatorium opposite the street. This massing locates the support functions between the future concourse that will serve all of the facilities in the recreation and sports centre and the natatorium, allowing the aquatic centre to be a free-standing project while accommodating future phases. Due to the tight setback from the street, the north and south glazed walls of the natatorium are highly visible when approaching the facility from either direction along Poirier. The reading of the glass volume is reinforced by the floating screen wall on Poirier that is pulled out at the ends, exposing the glass corner. The roof is also split into two planes, divided by a central skylight and an array of solar panels further expressing the natatorium as a glass cube nested in a series of planer elements supported and anchored by the solid volumes of the support functions on the far side. The Chimo Aquatic Centre is notable for both the amenities it provides the community and the high-level of accessibility to these amenities. The highly visible natatorium is on the same level as the entry but one meter above the street, putting the pool water surfaces at eye level as you walk or drive by the centre. The water features include a six-lane 25-meter lap pool and diving tank, a leisure warm water pool with a 20-meter lap area, beach entry, lazy river and spray features. The therapy features include in-pool therapy rails, therapeutic sprays in the hot tub and the fitness and physio areas on the second floor. Enhanced accessibility is provided by the universal change room, which connects the natatorium with the circulation and future concourse. This change area is a large open space that provides views from the concourse through to the pool and from the pool to the change cubicles and lockers. The openness and visibility of the change area enhances the security of the facility. Private change cubicles within the universal change room accommodate families, seniors and any patron requiring privacy. Coquitlam requested that Chimo be designed to meet the LEED® Silver Standard as a minimum, and the project succeeds in incorporating sustainable design to a level that demonstrates Coquitlam’s leadership and commitment to sustainability. An overflow parking area was constructed with Eco-Grid® permeable surfacing, as well as the provision of bio-swales to reduce rainwater discharge demand on storm sewers. All major trees and nurse stumps were surveyed and retained to minimize the impact on the natural habitat. New landscaping introduced to the site was specified with species indigenous to the Coquitlam area. Natural ventilation reduces the demand on the already efficient air-to-air heat exchanger and dehumidification equipment. The roof-mounted solar panels provide pre-heating for the pool water, which is sterilized with ozone. Rainwater is collected from the main roof for landscape irrigation, which is channeled down a central concrete sluiceway and is stored in an underground cistern. The water collection is a focal point of the Poirier streetscape that celebrates the building’s response to the environment and showcases sustainability. The use of dual flush toilets and low flow fixtures, in addition to the innovative approach of reusing the pool water for the flushing of toilets, significantly reduces the building’s water consumption.


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