YMCA Urban Infill, Kitchener, Ontario.

This is a studio project I completed in1986 in my third year of architecture school at the University of Waterloo (instructors: Brian Hunt and Val Rynnimeri). The brief was to design a YMCA for a site of our own selection in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. We were given only four weeks. The program we were handed was that of the Metro Central Toronto YMCA; a recently completed building by Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Although large empty sites were abundant in the Kitchener Waterloo area, especially in suburban areas, I purposely chose the most centrally situated site I could find, a partially empty city block with historic brick buildings bounded by Charles, Queen, and Ontario Streets. The idea was to ‘infill’ and complete this city block with urban density, and to provide a public architectural promenade through the building along ramps and galleries that offers views of sporting activities occurring throughout.

Axonometric drawing of YMCA urban infill proposal for Kitchener, Ontario (1986).

Axonometric drawing of YMCA urban infill proposal for Kitchener, Ontario (1986).

Charles Street Elevation of YMCA. The sport facilities are in the Constructivism-inspired building, while the offices and social facilities are in an adjoining Tendenza-inspired brick building with punched windows.

Charles Street Elevation. The sports facilities are in the Constructivist-inspired portion of the building, while the offices and social facilities are in an adjoining Tendenza-inspired brick portion with punched windows.

Longitudinal Section

Longitudinal Section behind Charles Street facade

YMCALongSectn

Longitudinal Section through pool, gym, etc. looking toward Charles Street

Plan of Level 0. Public entrance to sport facility at corner Charles and Ontario streets, member access to changing rooms, public ramp running parallel to Charles Street connects with office and social services entrance at Queen Street.

Plan of Level 0. The public entrance to the sport facility is at corner of Charles and Ontario streets, from which members access locker rooms. A public viewing ramp parallel to Charles Street connects with office and social services building on Queen Street.

Plan Level 2. Gym, Squash courts, Queen Street entrance to offices and social services.

Plan Level +1. Gym, Squash courts, Queen Street entrance to offices and social services.

Plan level +2. Public viewing gallery, social services.

Plan level +2. Public viewing gallery, social services.

Level +3. Running track and athlete's rooftop terrace

Level +3. Running track and athlete’s rooftop terrace

About Rafael Gomez-Moriana

Architect, educator and writer. Partner at ArqEstructura. Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Blogger at criticalista.com.

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