The City of Richmond's goal was to develop an iconic facility, so wood became a material of choice for the undulating roof. Wood has a highly aesthetic appeal, while delivering the required durability, acoustic and structural characteristics necessary for the project.
Designed to support active living and wellness for all ages, the new Minoru Centre for Active Living was built to meet the changing needs of the Richmond community and to increase services for aquatics users, seniors and others. The new centre replaced an aging and outdated group of buildings, and has become a true community facility, combining three spaces, including aquatics, a centre for older adults and outdoor field sports. Wood was chosen for the Minoru Centre to serve as an expressive, rhythmic material creating a sense of 'flow.'
Spruce glulam beams, 80mm wide x 450mm deep, were used as exposed structural joists to create an undulating roof form which extends throughout the structure. The roof consists of glulam beams with 10 different radius profiles—a requirement that would have been too expensive to accomplish with steel. The beams diverge smoothly from one another to create a rhythmic flow and form clerestory windows and skylights, bringing natural daylight deep into the interior spaces. Glulam beams are easy to shape and modify, and spruce was chosen because it was economical, more consistent in colour, and could be locally sourced.