A human scale is achieved by breaking down one large building program into Three Pavilions. This allows flexibility, avoids space-wasting hallways and provides interesting views between the buildings. Clean and simple lines are appropriate to the Victoria Park setting which can be seen from the top banks of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Durable local materials are proposed using simple construction technologies and available local labour. The third Pavilion, located furthest east, houses the City's Partner organization, the Edmonton Speed Skating Association.
Wood glulam trusses are proposed to support the well-insulated roof in a clear-span fashion allowing for ease of change if the buildings have to adapt over their anticipated life span. Standing seam metal roofing (100% recycled ribbed steel), heavily insulated, vandal-resistant concrete block walls and a commercial grade wood floor joist system over a warm crawlspace is provided for ease of running services below the floor and for occupant comfort. With these materials in mind, the Three Pavilions can be built under the $2.31 million budget.
The pavilions are tied together with a wrap-around deck that provides both ramps (for bikers) and steps (for skaters) with skate finished rubber surfacing. Snow drifting in winter is solved by slightly elevating the building two feet (600mm) above natural grade. This also helps with views above snow to the ice skating rink in winter. To keep all three pavilions accessible and visitable by people of all ages and abilities, both wider treads with shallow rise and very gently ramped access points are provided with handrails tied into a mix of deck railings and planters with wide edges creating benches, using synthetic wood (100% recyclable).
Top lighting and energy efficient windows bring daylight into all interior spaces. The height of the spaces will assist the natural ventilation in an energy efficient LEED Silver design. Water efficient toilets, waterless urinals and low flow automatically operated sinks will be used. Soap dispensers could be provided that are automatically operated and hand drying could be automatically operated Dyson no-touch fixtures. These features will promote good health and prevent the spread of disease in the common washroom areas. Automatic toilet flushing is also recommended. Pump out quantities will be reduced with these water efficient fixtures. A Navion style hot water on demand will be more energy efficient than continuous supply hot water tanks. A number of other energy efficient fixtures would be reviewed during the engineering process and design development phase.
These three pavilions can be oriented on site in slightly different ways during the final design phase if desired to best suit final siting near the ice rink. The reason this is a consideration is that parental supervision of both racing and recreational skaters and cross-country skiers is a key factor in family enjoyment of the site where a parent with little ones may be best warming them inside, while the older kids can skate or ski longer outside in the cold. Summer rain protection is offered between the three pavilions by a continuous roof over the decks and shade from the deep roof overhangs is provided to cool off hikers and bikers alike - the focal point is seating around the central fire pit area, which is also used in winter during special events.
A tall outdoor sculpture could be located in front of the decks and seen from the ice rinkand the parking lot as a landmark to draw first time visitors to the building. Alternatively this site has generated Speed Skating champions like Tamara Oudenaarden on the National Team, Jessica Greg who won an Olympic Silver medal in the relay in Vancouver, and Jamie Greg, highly ranked on the National Team. - indoor graphic artwork dedicated to celebrating athletic victories might be inspiring to the younger athletes who will use the building and add colour to the interiors.
Overall safety and supervision of the site will be addressed with exterior lighting, driven by solar powered systems. Additional lighting is proposed from the parking lot to the skating rink in winter and around the rink for night skating. Lighting would be designed to shine downward with good cut off protective of the night sky. Retractable steel shutters on the exterior will cover and protect windows in off hours to deter break-ins.
The food service Kitchen can be accessed from a servery counter facing outside the building as well as one inside the building. This would allow Edmonton to host major events at the Three Pavilions such as a Canada Cup in mountain bike racing, crosscountry skiing and speed skating. Hundreds of people could be served both inside and outside the building on the sunny decks for both Winter and Summer sport events.
The Training Room with its high and bright windows will enable speed skaters a view of the ice from their warm -up bicycles and enable them to see the status of their race. We anticipate the Timer's Shed would have to stay somewhere near the speed skaters starting line on the ice, although an option would be to move the partner building closer to the ice surface for dual duty as the starting Timer's location.
The Zamboni that saved the Vancouver Olympics lives here - and with proper space to do indoor fills, will provide an excellent ice surface for the speed and recreational skaters. No more sand problems will strip the edges of speed skates (which require a long time to re-sharpen). Having a skate & ski workshop for sharpening edges will be safer as well.
The bright rooms with plenty of benches and hooks for the bags will help all athletes participate in biking, cross-country skiing and skating sports at this location. Within the landscape design would be allowance for snow piles for regular City maintenance - preserving views for the Three Pavilions to see the Victoria Oval rink. The large trees will be pruned up a bit and the building can be single storey accessible to all users.
Future changes can be easily managed and other Pavilions can be added as usage increases. The general East to West orientation of the roof structure over the three pavilions effectively minimizes east west walls and provides maximum south exposure for passive solar gain during cold months of which we have many to enjoy. Parking capacity will not change and there is good access for drop off of wheelchair users at the building site. The existing treed landscaping will remain to provide shade to the building to reduce the non-roof heat island effect.
Interior fitments would be designed into the building using rapidly renewable resources, certified wood, recycled products and all finishes would be low VOC (volatile organic compounds) to preserve the health of the occupants in these no Smoking pavilions.
Protocols from various green sources would be used to design and construct this important project for Victoria Park, including the Net Zero House construction technologies developed in Edmonton, for Edmonton's unique climate. An example is placing the continuous vapour barrier where it's easy to build - from the foundation line up and over the floor edge and actually through the wall to connect to the inside wall vapour barrier.
Water off roof will be directed to water storage tanks for irrigation immediately around the building although natural grasses would be largely used which require no additional irrigation. No potable water would be used for landscape irrigation. Investigation will occur of creative filtration and settlement of grey water for Zamboni use with an interior storage tank in winter.
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