Design for health doesn't get nearly enough attention. Last year the University of Manitoba finished their Active Living Centre, designed by Cibinel Architecture and Batteríið Architects, "to support people striving to begin or sustain an active lifestyle." The cutting edge gym won Canada their first Outstanding Sports Facilities Award in almost 30 years.
The award, presented by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), was given to 13 new or remodeled sports facilities, and 12 of those 13 are located in the United States. Canada hasn’t garnered the award since 1988, which makes it that much more exciting for the university and architects who worked on the facility.
The Active Living Centre is 100,000 square feet and obtained LEED Silver certification. The massive facility offers several different ways for users to cultivate a healthier life. There’s an indoor climbing wall that is 40-feet high, an elevated running track offering spectacular views of the gym that’s over 650-feet long, as well as weights and training equipment. There are three group studios, as well as an area where researchers, graduate students, and experts from different disciplines such as dietitians or exercise psychologists can meet and work together.
The facility’s location is crucial as well: standing across from the Welcome Center on campus, it’s in a well-trafficked area where students and staff drive or walk every day.
Design Director George Cibinel said, “The mandate of the University was to take this opportunity to create a dynamic and vibrant facility that would introduce students, faculty, and staff to recreation as a healthy lifestyle and to create a place where they would love to stay.” So far Cibinel has won six different awards for their work for the University of Manitoba across two campuses.
The university used $48 million on the modern center and seem to be immensely satisfied with the result. Dean of the Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management Douglas Brown said, “The Active Living Centre is indeed a pride point…We believe it serves as a catalyst of health and well-being for our students, faculty, staff, and community as a whole.”