The minimalist design of the La Taule Sports Center has won the Grands Prix du Design 2015 Athletic Training Centre award. Designed by Canadian architecture firm Microclimat, the center takes its name after a former prison that was converted into a fitness center in 2010. The two story building features wide open spaces, where each element was carefully designed with the users in mind. From gymnast rings hanging from the roof, and stairs that double as training elements, the center is aimed at both professional athletes and sport enthusiasts.
From Architecture Microclimat:
The new sports centre, La Taule, designed by the architectural firm Microclimat, embodies the vision of a former Olympic athlete and participates in the revitalization of Waterloo, in the Eastern Townships.
A meeting place
In order to create a sports centre that invites people to excel, Microclimat imagined a large open space on two levels that allows all the services and facilities for body-builders, gymnasts and fitness enthusiasts to be united under one roof. The combination of red cedar, cherry wood and steel helps create a warm and inviting space that lends itself to the members’ sense of belonging.
Attention to detail
Every element of the project was conceived for those who use the centre: from the mezzanine’s structure that supports the horizontal bars, to the wide stairway that can also be used for training, and the roof where the gymnasts’ rings are attached, allowing athletes to hang 25 feet in the air.
The compact form of the new building reduces the size of the foundations and of the outside walls, freeing up a large part of the property and creating an outdoor training zone. In summer, large sliding glass doors can link the indoor and outdoor activities.
When La Taule was inaugurated in the spring of 2015, one could sense the pride of local residents and future users of the centre. Everyone was pleased to note that local entrepreneurs had chosen to invest in their area to bring this project to life, and that they had also contributed to the quality of this durable and elegant building, which plays an active role in developing this part of Waterloo.
As well as being the winner of the Grands Prix du Design 2015 competition in the fitness centre category, La Taule was also named as finalist for the 2015 architectural excellence prize by the Ordre des architectes du Québec for the commercial and office building category.
La Taule sports centre takes its name from an abandoned former prison that was transformed into a fitness centre in 2010. In 2014, the founder purchased a property in a developing sector of Waterloo in order to build a centre better suited to the activities of the centre’s clientele: both elite and amateur athletes.
*All images and information courtesy of v2com.