Category Archives: New Community Centre Design

New Community Centre Design Options

*UPDATE. New Community Orchard booklet posted. New Design Options posted.  Please click on the ‘coloured symbols’ below to take a look.


*The other design options shown here are only meant to be understood as ideas at this stage.*  The image below explains the methodology used to create these options; (for example, how community members’ ideas are integrated into the design process).  We hope to attract many more people to participate and get involved in the discussion of a new Community Centre so that we can continue to look at different design ideas and options in the future.

All the design options will be posted and updated here.  Please click on the links below the colourful Design Option Symbol to view the pdf’s.  We would like to encourage everyone to post comments on the website in response to these projects.  Please make sure to comment on the projects you ‘Like’, as this will help us understand which ideas are working best.  Also, don’t hesitate to tell us what else these design options might need? What is missing? What you would like to see?

Kitchen Central: Connecting Social Space

No Lift Required: Rethinking the Ramp


Expansion Where Necessary: Minor Adjustments


Stacked Up! A New Horizon

Updated. Unfinished version.

Community Orchard: Fruit and Nut Trees

Heron Park Community Centre Design Survey via SurveyMonkey

Heron Park Community Centre Discussion

The HPCA is conducting this survey of the Heron Park community to see and determine what size and type of Community Centre facility would be appropriate for the neighbourhood.  Please follow the link below:

Click here to take survey

Survey Monkey is the world’s leading provider of web-based survey solutions, (it’s also free to use if you keep your survey under 10 questions!)  This online survey will not take very long (about 5 min.), so if you have some time, please help us out by answering the following 9 questions as they will be very useful for documenting the need for a new community building.  Make sure to add all your personal ideas and suggestions to the comments section at the end as this is potentially the most important part of the survey.  Thank-you for your time!

BIG! Site Model II

The following photos display some new Community Centre designs ideas as created by various people in the community.  These models help us think about how the programs (or room types) are arranged within the building and also accessed and seen from Heron Park and the surrounding neighbourhood.  The idea is to use these program planning models’ to communicate and influence future design proposals made for the new Community Centre.  Please see the legend below for an example of some of the typical programs included in these layouts.

Option #01 – ‘T’-Axis

*The central location of the washrooms and the ‘T’ axis for the building circulation space (i.e. Foyer and Corridor) are the two main elements that make this design proposal so effective.*

Washroom location:

(1) they provide easy for access from the both interior and exterior spaces.

(2) they are close to gymnasium, (could incorporate change rooms).

(3) close to multi-use/ foyer / gathering space.

‘T’ axis for building circulation:

(1) provides a quick path through the building from north to south. (This is especially useful in summer months when people are moving back and forth across the park; from the baseball field to the pool for example.)

(2) The east-west axis could be widened quite largely to double as foyer / hall / or any type of assembly space.  (The Multi-use rooms to the south could have moveable partition walls to connect to the foyer allowing a bigger open space when necessary)

(3) Also, the east-west axis leads people to the gym at the back of the Community Centre from the entry, which a) would be a nice visual feature, and b) keep loud sounds from gym distant from the front lobby and other multi-purpose rooms.

Other Rooms:

Kitchen: If it was located between the daycare, a multipurpose room, and the foyer / hall/assembly space, then it could serve all these different spaces and the different activities they host.  (Additionally, kitchen preparation space could expand into one of these rooms if it was needed for a larger event).

Staircase: could be added to the main foyer space to provide access to quieter rooms above:  (ie. Games room, exercise room, meeting rooms, study, or more multipurpose).

Option #02 – Multi-Purpose Room (Gym) in the center

*This design puts the multi-purpose room directly in the centre of the Community Centre.*

The atrium/gathering room: is the first space you would experience when you arrive from the entrance  located on the corner closest to Clover Street.  From this space, one could either go directly into the large multi-purpose room (gym) or over to the daycare/youth games room on the south end of the building that looks over the baseball field.   Attached to this daycare/games room is a lowered mudroom that could be used as a skate changing space.  However, this room wouldn’t only be used for this purpose as ‘putting on your skates’ is only a seasonal task and also doesn’t necessarily require the standard privacy  factor as people usually only put on their skate here and do not need to change their clothes.

The idea of putting the multi-use room in the centre was to emphasize the fact that it could be used for multiple, changing things and that people entering the Community Centre would see these events as soon as they entered the building.  Also, the central location would allow the sounds and views from this room to resonate throughout the building creating an overall lively atmosphere.

Option #03 – Stacked Up!

To add four storeys on top of the existing field house is likely a bit of an exaggeration, but what if the existing structure could support a second storey?  Is this an option worth looking into further?

Option #04 – Community Orchard

This design does not directly involve the Community Centre building but instead proposes a new community orchard space just north of the park. 

Option #05 – A couple ideas from our young designers!

Click on the link below to see a short time-lapse video of these design being built.

BIG! Site Model: Programming the Community Centre from A Student on Vimeo.

This time-lapse video shows the interactive model-building process used for planning a variety of new Community Centre design layouts. Members of the community help design the building by arranging different rooms and space on a large (4ft x 8ft) site model.

Community Centre Design Ideas

Heron Park Field HouseAre you interested in discussing ideas for a new Community Centre at Heron Park?  For the past couple of months we have been tinkering with different interactive and participative design processes during the Wednesday Night Program to help generate ideas for a new Community Centre at Heron Park with people of all ages.  We would like to continue to collect as many thoughts, suggestions, examples, needs and desires in attempt to build a collection of ideas that will reflect the neighbourhood’s character and identity.

For more information on how to get involved, please join us on Wednesday nights at the Field House.  Or in the meantime, take a look at the new category in the left column on the website entitled, “New Community Centre Design,” for some recent examples of some of the collaborative work that has already begun.

InfoBits: Case Study Examples

Have you ever entered a Community Centre that you immediately admired?  Have you ever experienced a building that you could just tell worked well for its community?  What qualities make such commendable Community Centres?  Could some of the ideas from these buildings be appropriate for Heron Park?  Case Studies of other Community Centres are very useful tools for thinking about new designs; however, these examples can get buried in reports and documents where few people are able to see and discuss them. To address this issue, we have begun to make some small booklets to help illustrate how information from various Community Centres can be adapted both quickly and effectively.  Case Studies examples

We encourage everyone in the community to post any examples, images, links, etc., they think might be useful.  Online versions of these Case Study examples are found in the New Community Centre Design category in the left column.  Hardcopy versions can be viewed  at the Field House.  We will continue to make more booklets as new examples are posted.

BIG! Site Model

Just before the holidays, a large site model (4 x 8ft approx.) of Heron Park was created to help visualize different Community Centre layouts and styles.  The idea of this model is to encourage everyone from the community to work on it by either:

1/ Creating their own models and designs,

2/ Adding comments and ideas with post-it notes,

3/Sketching and drawing options on the model,

OR/ designing in whatever way you would like.

Every Wednesday night a series of time-lapse photos are taken of this model with a digital camera to document the different design options proposed by members of the community.

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InfoBits: Case Study Examples II

Ledbury Community Centre
Ledbury Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Click here to view PDF

Christopher Griffen, “The Ledbury Community Centre,” Accessed on, January 22nd, 2012.
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Gleneagles Community Center
West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Click here to view PDF

 ArchDaily, “Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects” by Kelly Minner. Accessed on, November 22nd, 2011.
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Rural Studio Community Projects
West Alabama, United States

Click here to view PDF

For more information see,
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Albion-Heatherington Community Centre

1560 Heatherington Rd., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Click here to view PDF

Watson MacEwan Teramura Architects, “Albion-Heatherington Community Centre,” Accessed on  December 6th, 2011.
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Cultural Centre de Kamers

Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands

Click here to view PDF

Mimoa 2011: mi modern architecture, dirkverwoerd, “Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten: Cultural Centre de Kamers,” Accessed on November 22nd, 2011.
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SOS Children’s Villages

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Click here to view PDF

ArchDaily, “SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center / Studio Gang Architect’s” by Nico Saigh. Accessed on, November 22nd, 2011.
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Jugendhaus Stuttgart Stammheim

Stammheim, Stuttgart, Germany

Click here to view PDF

For more information see,
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Ledbury Park Recreation Centre

North York, Ontario, Canada

Click here to view PDF

Canadian Architect “Recreation Centres: Patron of the Parks,” Accessed on, January 22nd, 2012.
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Community Centre Herstedlund

Albertslund, Denmark

Click here to view PDF

For more information see,

[Inter]Active Discussion

Discussion #1 - Youth Volunteers     Discussion #1 - with Youths Volunteers    
The [Inter]Active Discussion is an ongoing design approach.  It is similar to collecting meeting minutes in the sense that it can be continually built on from one discussion to the next. To view an interactive presentation of the first session please follow the link below:

The purpose of these discussions is to focus on an idea, but at the same time, allow this idea to expand to help generate various levels of thinking about a new Community Centre.  For example, during the first [Inter]Active Discussion session, youth volunteers from the Wednesday Night Program started out by discussing things they like and things they don’t like about the existing Community Centre (Field House) at Heron Park.  From this starting point, the discussion moved towards more sensorial questions about the building, such as light, sound, texture, scent, and even taste!  This turned out to be a very effective way of collecting ideas ranging from visual appearance to programmatic and spatial layouts [i.e. placement and types of rooms].

To refocus/filter/summarize the information and ideas generation from the discussion, the youth volunteers were asked to circle the ideas they felt were most important.  From here, drawings of the existing Community Centre were passed around to the participants so that they could reflect on these ideas and sketch some of their own.

If you would like to continue to expand on this [Inter]Active Discussion, please join us on Wednesday Night or post a comment here.  Thank you.

Each [Inter]Active Discussion will posted online at  Prezi is a free and completely interactive program for making presentations.  By posting the discussions here, individuals can browse the information however they please and even add their own comments to it, (if we decide to make this option available in the future).