A Civic-minded Feat of Athletic Achievement

Markham Pan Am Centre

Project Photos

It achieves these urban design objectives while accommodating a highly complex program. During the Toronto 2015 Games, the Pan Am Centre hosted water polo, badminton, table tennis and Parapan table tennis events; in legacy mode it is both an elite competition venue and a community athletic centre. A depth-adjustable floor makes its 10-lane high-performance Olympic pool as suitable for toddler swim classes as it is for top-level meets. In the badminton and table tennis courts, lighting, sightlines and architecture work in tandem to maximize the visibility of a shuttlecock or small ball in play, and the HVAC system’s design ensures that air circulation will not influence the outcome of the game. The Markham Pan Am Centre’s eminently flexible field house can be configured to house 12 badminton courts, or six volleyball courts and two basketball courts.

Built for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Markham Pan Am Centre was emphatically an urban design project as well as an architectural one. Infrastructure Ontario awarded our firm the Architect of Record role on this Build-Finance project at a time when the Town of Markham had recently become the City of Markham. The new City envisioned this state-of-the-art sports complex as a key component in its master plan for transforming a former suburb into a truly metropolitan environment. We designed a building that opens onto an expansive public plaza, engages with the street, and strengthens the cohesiveness and identity of Markham’s newly defined urban core.

Key sustainable aspects of this LEED Gold building include demand-operated ventilation, high capacity air-side heat recovery, a high-performance thermal envelope, pool heat recovery, large-span wood glulam trusses, high-performance storm water management, and a triple-height central corridor that draws light deep into the interior through skylights and a clerestory.