Minoru Centre

Minoru Centre earns Architecture Prize for Accessibility

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Minoru Centre for Active Living in Richmond has received the 2021 Architecture Prize for Accessibility from the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, and International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities.

The annual Distinction for Accessibility Award aims to increase the accessibility of all sports and leisure facilities and architectural structures worldwide so that everyone has an opportunity to practice and view sport freely and without barriers.

The city’s new state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic facility, which opened in 2020, received the honour for its integration of accessibility features such as:

  • Design features in the aquatic centre to enable easy and dignified access to the various pools such as ramps and gentle steps as well as infinity edges and mobile lifts.
  • Multiple drop-off areas to facilitate accessible transportation modes.
  • Barrier-free front doors and accessible reception centres.
  • Change room facilities that significantly exceed width requirements. For example, oversize shower and changing stalls to accommodate a family with young children or individuals using an assistive device.

Designed by HCMA, the Minoru Centre facility boasts a spacious 790 square metre (8,500 sq. ft.) fitness centre with a full complement of cardio, strength and stretching equipment as well as a large 176 square metre (1,900 sq. ft.) fitness studio that hosts a variety of group fitness classes.

It is also one of the province’s premier aquatic facilities with a 650 square metre (7,000 square foot) leisure pool, a rapid flowing river channel, two 25 metre pools for recreational and lane swimming, along with an over water climbing wall, drop slide and diving board. The aquatic centre is also home to Canada’s largest hot tub as well as the country’s only municipal cold plunge pool.

The International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, and International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities presented the award in Cologne, Germany. There were 86 contenders for the various categories of this year’s international architecture prize coming from countries such as Japan, Montenegro, Peru, Syria, Canada, Australia and the United States. Winners include the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England; Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland; and the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo, Japan.

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