West Vancouver Community Centre

Hughes Condon Marler Architects

Jury comments: The project adds to an earlier built indoor pool that creates an exciting public space. It has a clarity of design concept with a joyous, animated interior in which the activities of the building users are on display. Building orientation for optimum solar conditions, natural ventilation, reduction of water use, re-use of building materials, and geothermal energy are the salient sustainability features that represent a new approach to community centre design.

This project presents a dynamic new approach to community centre design. The building is the social heart of the community. Situated on a Civic Centre site that contains a variety of civic buildings and functions, this project was intended to be the
defining element of community life on the site.

Rejuvenation of the long-established civic centre site has already included renovations and additions to the Ice Arena, the Seniors’ Activity Centre and the Aquatic Centre. The new Community Centre is the most socially and programmatically complex of these ventures. It unifies and connects the various functions and provides structure and focus to the new and improved public outdoor spaces. Together, the complex forms the most important collection of public buildings in the municipality.

The West Vancouver Community Centre provides a comprehensive mix of Community Recreation and Community Health functions in a unique “Wellness” Centre that includes spaces for sport, dance, art, health education, health clinics, music and childcare. The facility also provides for a variety of social interaction in a seamless way so that public service synergies are maximized. The bold and site specific architectural form results in a series of highly dynamic spaces that are coherent, intuitive, and filled with natural light and fresh air.

Anticipating LEED Gold certification, the project incorporates many sustainable design strategies, including: massing and orientation to optimize passive solar heating and natural daylighting; use of a geothermal, ground source shared energy system;  natural ventilation throughout the building and a variety of water conservation measures.

The building’s massing is pulled apart to create a luminous three-storey circulation spine that works as the building’s primary artery, linking gymnasiums, fitness rooms and wellness clinics both physically and visually. The spine is articulated along its length with an operable skylight that helps drive sunlight and facilitate the movement of fresh air throughout the building.

The West Vancouver Community Centre is expected to achieve high levels of energy efficiency. The building mass and its orientation along east-west axis will optimize solar conditions [daylight and heat] in both summer and winter. Energy saving strategies include ground source heat pumps, advanced building envelope design, and energy-efficient lighting systems/controls.

Responsible resource management is made possible by addressing the site as a campus rather than a series of independent structures. Geothermal energy is created on site and shared symbiotically between all the buildings on the campus.

This building replaced an aging community centre structure from which 89% of the materials were salvaged for reuse in the new facility. Materials reused include wood decking, structural beams, crushed concrete and masonry. Reclaimed wood from the previous community centre was re-milled for benching and provides structure for the glazing in the interior spine. Creating a healthy indoor environment was a top priority in the development of the community centre.


  • Client District of West Vancouver
  • Architect Hughes Condon Marler Architects
  • Structural Engineer Fast + Epp
  • Mechanical Engineer Stantec
  • Electrical Engineer Genivar
  • Landscape Architect Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
  • Civil Engineer Hunter Laird Engineering Ltd
  • General Contractor Scott Construction Group
  • Photographer Hubert Kang

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