Borden Park Natural Swim Experience

Borden Park, Edmonton, Alberta

While with Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning
Kasian - prime consultant & project manager- original submission; gh3 design architects
Role: Principal-in-Charge/Project Manager - original submission

Won through a competitive City of Edmonton RFP process Kasian / gh3 were awarded the design of Canada's first public biological pool, as a renewed historic amenity as part of the re-invigorated Borden Park Masterplan.  The early 1900s was the golden age of Borden Park.  A destination for family events, it was home to many attraction including fairground activities, a zoo and an outdoor pool.  For over 80 years Edmontonians and visitors have used the Borden Park Pool as a recreational, leisure and gathering space.  As part of the larger park landscape, the pool is a key civic space within north Edmonton, and the uninterrupted history of swimming on site from 1924 to 2012 demonstrates the strong social value of the Borden Park Pool complex to Edmonton and the surrounding community.  It is a signature element, a project of landmark proportions and leadership, and the first of its kind in Canada.  Edmonton will be the first city in North America to build a public recreational natural swim experience.

The pool will support 400 swimmers and used as a skating surface in winter.  The 820sq.m building and site program includes washrooms, change-room facilities, first-aid room, staff areas, concession, children's pool, deep pool, outdoor showers, beaches, picnic areas, and various regeneration zones related to the pool.  Two existing mid-century pool buildings will be incorporated into the overall site design.  The proposal builds upon elements of the existing 1950s buildings and is inspired by Modernist style, including a horizontal emphasis and clear integration of building and site that recognizes the cultural heritage of the park.