Swim class in progress.

Aquaventures Swim Centre


Vancouver, BC

In late 2019, Aquaventures Swim School approached hcma looking to relocate their programs into a new two-storey facility that would better accommodate the growing needs and size of their community. The proposed new site? An existing 1950s concrete retail/office building with no existing aquatic infrastructure multiple other tenants.

The program outlined a need for two state-of-the-art pools, an oversized universal washroom and changeroom area, front lobby and reception, and a layout that would successfully connect the public support spaces on the main floor with the aquatics area on the lower level. However, the facility lacked the infrastructure and through-level passage to make this vision of an interconnected community hub come to life within the original framework of the space.

hcma strategically navigated a complete retrofit of the unit to outfit the basement with two partially above-ground MyrthaTM pools. This solution cleverly repositioned the challenge of not being able to excavate to the depth necessary for a fully in-ground installation into an opportunity for a bench-topped ledge that would enrich the family experience without compromising on pool functionality. To connect the otherwise isolated upper and lower areas of the unit, we designed a new main concrete stairwell by way of removing a large area of the existing structural floor and opening both levels to one another.


Areas of impact

Facilities are fully accessible for wheelchair using families.

hcma was also responsible for coordinating extensive seismic, roofing, structural and façade upgrades to the entirety of the building which brought the facility up to code and doubled its existing lifespan without causing layout changes to the neighboring units.

Since the completion of the Aquaventures Swim Centre, the facility has been embraced by the community as an invaluable resource. With the influx of social and recreational programming in the building, the property owner hopes to transform this rejuvenated site into a private sector community centre serving its neighborhood for generations to come. 

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