Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is a high-profile community recreation centre that initially served as a training facility for volunteers for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The project included three phases: the original 2,140 square metre building completed in 2009, the outdoor covered skate park completed in 2011, and a 460 square metre second floor expansion completed in 2012. Located in Tom Binnie Park in Surrey City Centre, this project was seen as a catalyst for positive change in this rapidly developing neighbourhood. Specific goals included: to create an iconic design that met the City of Surrey’s recreation facility standards for crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), durability, flexibility and the ability to accommodate future expansion. The architectural expression evokes the dynamics of sport through colour, transparency, and sweeping shapes. The feature entry is a glass cube with a composite concrete and wood structure that helps showcase British Columbia wood. Wood is used throughout the building as an acoustic finish that also provides visual warmth to complement the building’s concrete elements. A striking feature of the centre is the west wall, which has been designed as a screen for the display of digital art. Programmed by the City of Surrey, the screen has nightly displays by local and international artists. Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is providing the community with a safe, accessible place for recreation and social connection; a bright spot in a colourful neighbourhood.
Wood is an integral part of the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. The project uses only locally produced lumber, with the sole exception of the gymnasium floor. The gymnasium section features wood acoustic panelling that creates visual warmth and a sense of connection to the surrounding park. Externally, glue-laminated (glulam) facia “outrigger blades” make an abstract reference to winter sports such as skating, bobsleigh and luge. The irregular shapes making up the building posed structural challenges that were addressed using a composite system of concrete, steel and glulam elements. Working together, the architect and the structural engineer developed an expression that playfully used symbolism and allegory in the design of wood elements, creating a building with a number of unique features. The main entry is a glass cube that acts as a lantern, giving the building its distinctive identity. Interior lighting illuminates the glazed entry cube at night. Within the cube, an inventive wood roof structure springs from a series of glulam branches supported on concrete columns. The geometry of this roof assembly enables it to form the lateral-load resisting system for this free-standing portion of the building. The skate park to the south completes the project, and its structure mimics the cube’s glulam system to support one of Canada’s largest covered skateboard parks.