Remington YMCA

Connectivity was critical for the City of Calgary and influenced how the building was organized to maximize visual and spatial connections between program elements. While traditional recreation facilities typically separate the functions, the client celebrates the integration of activities and versatility of use. The extensive glazing puts the activities on display encouraging interest, use and participation from passersby. Branching from the central spine of the building are the natatorium, glass walled gymnasium, library, community rooms, and the daycare facilities. Overhead is a floating running track that encircles the gymnasium. One central control point leads you to the change rooms, fitness facilities, and the natatorium.

Responding to today’s cultural and family needs, the first universal change room in Alberta was developed. It is completely open to accommodate all demographics, and features plenty of private change rooms and washrooms. From the second floor, spectators have a view of the outdoors while overlooking the natatorium, gymnasium, or the community space at the same time. The library on the main floor is a key community resource that offers gathering space for community groups, day users, or casual library visitors. The library has been designed to appeal to a variety of users through the use of zones denoted by colors and design. No longer just about books, the library was designed to provide a place where users can create their own experience. Whether it is the interactive play zone, private reading rooms, or the online resource area, the goal of the library’s design was to facilitate community learning.

The client provides more than a place to swim, lift weights or read a book. The client acts as a community hub for Quarry Park, a neighborhood in Calgary’s southeast quadrant which is currently undergoing a significant redevelopment. Once a former gravel pit, the neighborhood of Quarry Park now forms part of a regional pathway with the client at the heart. The facility provides the community with flexible activity areas, a daycare, a natatorium, a library, fitness areas and an interior and exterior plaza for citizens to create their own experience.

The design palette was kept intentionally minimal to allow the user uninhibited use and creativity within the space. Inspired by the multi-tonal grey of a rock quarry (derived from the surrounding neighbourhood of Quarry Park), the natural beauty of the wood structure and the playful pop of color found in a running shoe; white, grey and wood grounds both the interior and exterior of the building. With a minimal color palette, we wanted to translate the bright citron color found in the running track to the carpet used in multi-purpose spaces. Shaw’s versatile custom options ensured a tailor made solution with a perfect color match and harmonious coordination with the overall aesthetic of the building.

Library zones were created, allowing users to shape their own experience through the use of color and lighting. Shaw’s coordinating product lines made gradational transitions between program areas easy, enabling the children’s areas to be bright and playful while integrating the overall aesthetic of the library. Combined with the carpet tile, the in-floor heating provides a soft, warm place encouraging imaginative play, where parents aren’t afraid to get down and sit on the floor. Shaw Contract's Cradle to Cradle certification reflects the City of Calgary values of social, economic, and environmental impact reduction. This synergy made Shaw an easy choice. Darker carpet tiles were used in areas of heavy traffic; the durability, resilience and flexibility of the tile gives the City of Calgary piece of mind for longevity while meeting their environmental goals and contributing towards their pursuit of LEED Gold certification.


Calgary, Canada

Design Firm

GEC Architecture


  • Public Sector
  • Awards/Certifications

    2018 Design Award Category Winner