A 100,000 square foot Active Living Center with a 12-metre climbing wall and an elevated 200-metre indoor running track has recently become a part of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Designed by Canadian architects from Cibinel Architecture Ltd, in collaboration with Icelandic architecture firm Batteriid Architects, this new facility is a keystone of the University’s Fort Garry Campus.
George Cibinel, the project’s Design Director, describes the facility’s importance to the campus and its relationship to the community: ‘The project is located at the corner of University Crescent and Dafoe Road, across from the campus Welcome Centre, which is an important pedestrian entrance to the campus for people arriving by car or by bus. The mandate of the University was to take this opportunity to create a dynamic and vibrant facility that would introduce students, faculty and staff to recreation as a healthy lifestyle and to create a place where they would love to stay.’
Following the architects, the main architectural goals of the facility are to contrast the existing Frank Kennedy Recreation Centre by creating a building that is extroverted, communicative, and engages the community and users at a pedestrian as well as vehicular scale. Besides the climbing wall and the running track, the new building features over 1000 pieces of free weights and accessories. It also contains a research centre, strength and conditioning facilities, and three group workout studios.
The Active Living Centre at the University of Manitoba was recently named a 2016 NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility Award recipient. The awards, open internationally, recognize the innovative design of new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities. This marks the first time since 1988 that a Canadian building has won the award.
Photos: Jerry Grajewski