September 2023

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 79 Vivo for Healthier Generations Expansion R EN D ER I N GS CO U RT E S Y V I VO FO R H E A LT H I ER G EN ER AT I O N S VIVO FOR HEALTHIER GENERATIONS EXPANSION by NATALIE BRUCKNER A midst the bustling streets of north-central Calgary, a transformative project is tak- ing shape – one that aspires to raise healthier generations, unite com- munities, and inspire innovation. This ambitious endeavour is none other than the Vivo for Healthier Generations expansion project, which aims to elevate the existing facility to new heights, offering an unparalleled space for physical, social, and emo- tional well-being. "This expansion and renovation of Vivo for Healthier Generations is about creating the healthy futures we all hope for – for ourselves, our community, and our planet," says Courtney Cathcart, chair of Vivo's Board of Directors. The project began construction in April 2021, marking a turning point for the community- driven recreation centre. The expansion encompasses an impressive 135,000 square feet of new and renovated space, promising an exceptional array of amenities. Among these is the first-of-its-kind Indoor Park – a pioneering concept that seamlessly integrates nature within urban con- fines, allowing visitors to reconnect with the outdoors. Complementing this natural retreat is a six-lane, 25-metre pool that beckons swimmers to embrace aquatic activities, while four new community rooms nurture collab- oration and creativity among visitors. Championing innovation, the expansion houses a dedicated research and innovation lab, a space that fosters experimentation and dis- covery in the pursuit of improved well-being practices. Furthermore, a 60 percent larger fitness centre stands as a haven for health enthusiasts, offering an environment conducive to holistic wellness. At the heart of the expansion lies the "community hug," a multifunctional outdoor space designed to host events and gather- ings, fostering community cohesion and nurturing social bonds. The site of this visionary project, once a grass lot, presented numerous challenges, but nothing that EllisDon wasn't able to overcome. "The pres- ence of an underground river, located six metres beneath the ground, posed significant hurdles during the pil- ing stage. However, we managed to work our way through it," says James Kennedy, project manager at EllisDon. Innovative architectural design played a pivotal role in the expansion's design, which seamlessly harmo- nizes with the existing structure while asserting its unique identity. "We worked closely with Vivo and the community, and placed a great deal of focus on the inclusivity of the design – not just gender and race but age too. Rather than a big box, it's a commu- nity driven space that is connected on all sides," explains John Souleles, partner at Dialog. Cynthia Watson, chief evolution officer, adds: "We wanted the design to resonate with our diverse community by reflecting a balance of elements found in nature - fire, water, earth, metal, wood - based on universal design principals, so that more people can see themselves at Vivo." For the envelope, a thoughtful blend of materials, including cor- rugated metal cladding and a glass curtain wall, melds gracefully with the surrounding urban fabric. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the design, evident in the installation of 286 solar panels on a PVC roof, a testa- ment to the project's commitment to environmental responsibility. Inside the building, a profound sense of community permeates every detail. The design ethos reflects Vivo's community-driven vision, emphasizing a purposeful flow that fosters connections with the outdoors throughout the year. "The biophilic design was a big part of the conver- sation. This is the notion of having an extension of a living room for the community and can be seen in every element from the huge indoor park to the pool viewing area on the con- course above that also features a new fitness and yoga studio," says Souleles. Materials selected inside further enhance this indoor/outdoor element and create a warm and inviting space. Wood panels and exquisite millwork

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