The new, $40.5 million Iqaluit Aquatic Centre features a six-lane, 25-metre lap pool, a leisure/wading pool, two saunas, a whirlpool, multi-purpose room, elders’ room, public fitness centre and fitness studio, plus food and beverage areas. Located in a remote arctic community where the long, cold and dark months magnify the need for vibrant indoor recreational opportunities, the new Centre offers a range of activities for families and people of all ages.
Due to the intense cold climate, pools in Northern Canada necessitate elaborate cooling systems to prevent thousands of liters of heated water from melting the permafrost beneath. In the case of Iqaluit, this resulted in a facility supported by a pile foundation that allows air to circulate beneath the building and reduces its impact on the permafrost, while the pool tanks are situated above grade and within the structure of the building, thus avoiding the potential permafrost problem and sandwiching the community areas between the ground and the pool. Surrounded by an energy-efficient envelope, the design for Iqaluit’s new aquatic centre incorporates state-of-the-art pool water treatment, humidification control, and HVAC systems designed for a northern environment.