Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre

  • Location

    Surrey, BC

At the centre of the developing Grandview Heights neighbourhood in rapidly growing Surrey, families, athletes and swim clubs alike had been clamouring for the iconic Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre to open its doors. Both a destination training facility and key venue for regional, national and international competitions, the centre is an anchor for the developing community.

Community Impact

It was great fun using the facility. My son has been asking about it everyday since last Wednesday. The experience was great, a sense of pride for using the fantastic facility with my family and above all very relaxing with my son loving every minute of it in the kids section.

Shailesh Balachandran, Director, Preconstruction Services EllisDon Corp - British Columbia

Design Challenge

The project vision was to design and build a world-class aquatic centre to attract people from everywhere, while expressing the community’s ambition for Surrey. Inclusivity and universal access help to support a diverse culture. Intended to accommodate the needs of its growing community, the aquatic centre plays a vital role as the area develops.

It meets stringent FINA standards to host regional, provincial, national and international sporting events in its 10-lane, 50m Olympic size competition pool and dive platform. With seating for up to 900 spectators, it is poised to act as a premier destination for competitive diving and swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo events. Yet its pro-athlete capabilities are carefully balanced with the needs of recreational users – without compromising the unique needs of either group.

hcma also completed a master plan for the site that will play a vital role as the area develops and the vision for the community is realized.


As part of its Build Surrey Program, the City of Surrey planned a new pool to provide a iconic, world-class, destination facility in its developing South Surrey neighbourhood. They sought a collaborative, innovative environment with the free exchange of ideas, thoughts and information between the project team.


Our Response

For a pool of such size, we recognized the ceiling as an important point of visual interest for swimmers as they float in the leisure pool or backstroke down the lanes. Shying away from typical ribbed ceilings of steel, we took a new approach. Investigating the feasibility of an almost-exclusively wood roof solution, the team developed the world’s longest span timber catenary roof ever built.

Pioneering technical excellence, the distinctive roof undulations were driven by functional needs, rather than lofty aesthetic goals – a perfect union of form and function. Prefabricated from regionally-sourced Douglas fir beams, these roof panels were crane-lifted into place in just eight days. The structure achieves the clear spans required for pools, yet used only a 1m-thick structure; by reducing the building volume, the design team was able to ensure energy cost savings for building envelope materials and facility operations.

  • Completion


  • Size

    8,830 m2

  • Innovation

    Longest span timber catenary roof built to date

  • Sustainability

    LEED Certified

  • Accessibility

    Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certified Gold

Design Process

It is cool and awesome too! I liked the lazy river it was my favourite part, your (sic) the best pool in history.

Elementary school student