Occupying a prominent location within Calgary’s downtown core, and featuring a highly memorable tensile fabric roof stretched over an arched spine, the publicly funded Talisman Centre provides the city of Calgary with national-level sport development, recreation, wellness, and rehabilitation facilities in a landmark facility. Johnston Sport Architecture Inc.(and subsequently Cannon Design), together with Gibbs Gage Architects, was retained to undertake a $25 million, 80,000 sq. ft. new-construction and renovation program to address the usage rates that had grown to exceed the Centre’s original design capacity by a factor of four.
The completed facility houses a double gymnasium with jogging track, an expanded two-level fitness centre, a sports medicine clinic, physiotherapy and lifestyle skills suite, and a second 50m aquatic facility with support spaces for swimming, water polo, and synchronized swimming.
The existing building’s curving perimeter walls, delicate roof structure, and irregularly positioned spaces made the addition of new building connections technically and visually challenging, and since the existing structure was located on a high-elevation island adjacent to the river flood plain, new massing had to be compact. The two new buildings draw upon the existing structure’s dynamic forms while maintaining their independence. A gymnasium on a second-level suspended slab hovers over a lower level containing the fitness centre and physiotherapy suite. In an implied continuation of the contour of the existing building, the roof of the new aquatic wing sweeps to a continuous strip window that provides users of the two 50m pools, dive tank, children’s pool, therapy whirlpool, and 20-person whirlpool with dynamic city views and ample daylight.
Project completed in association with Gibbs Gage Architects
*Work completed by JSA Sport Architecture Inc. personnel while employed by Johnston Sport Architecture Inc. or Cannon Design
Robert J. Johnston - Project Principal/Senior Architect
Lawrence Korteweg - Senior Designer/Aquatic Designer
Lindsay Park Sports Centre Society