Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre


Surrey, B.C.


2,600 square metres



Project Owner

City of Surrey



Structural Engineer

Bogdonov Pao Associates (acquired by CIMA+ in 2021)

Engineered Wood Supplier/Fabricator

Mercer Mass Timber LLC

Project Materials


Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)


Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Low rise

Post + beam


Playful expression in wood

The Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre used a composite structure of concrete, steel and glue-laminated timber (glulam) to develop a playful expression, creating a building that is a bright spot in a colourful neighbourhood. The result is a safe and accessible amenity that allows for social connection as well as recreation.

  • Locally sourced wood was used throughout, except for the gymnasium floor.
  • The glulam fascia “outrigger blades” on the exterior make reference to winter sports, such as skating, bobsleigh and luge.
  • A composite structural system of concrete, steel and glulam elements enabled the designers to create a building with several unique features.

Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is a high-profile community recreation centre that initially served as a training facility for volunteers for the Vancouver 2010 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. The goals were to create an iconic design that met the City of Surrey’s recreation facility standards for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), as well as durability, flexibility and the ability to accommodate future expansion.

Wood is used structurally and symbolically

The project only uses locally sourced lumber, with the exception of the gymnasium floor. The gymnasium features wood acoustic paneling that creates visual warmth, as well as a substantial glazed wall that gives a sense of connection to the surrounding park. On the exterior, glulam fascia “outrigger blades” make reference to winter sports such as skating, bobsleigh and luge. The building is composed of irregular shapes that had posed structural challenges, but these were overcome using a composite system of concrete, steel and glulam elements. Working together, the architect and structural engineer developed an expression that playfully used symbolism and allegory in the design of wood elements, which gave the building many unique features.

An inventive wood roof structure

The architecture reflects the dynamics of sport through colour, transparency and sweeping shapes.

The main entry is a massive glass cube that acts as a lantern, giving the building its distinctive look. Within the cube, an inventive wood roof structure is supported by a series of chunky glulam branches that spring from concrete columns. The design of the substantial roof assembly allows it to carry the lateral-load resisting system for this free-standing portion of the building.

“The Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is a beautiful architectural landmark in our city centre.”

FMR mayor Dianna Watts, City of Surrey.