As in other communities, the Chatham Kent YMCA assumes the role as a builder and sustainer of the region’s physical and social health. The region of Chatham Kent has also identified the new YMCA as a key facility in attracting new families to this area. It also acts as a stimulus for physician recruitment into the city, and supports the efforts of local businesses in employee recruitment. Components of the new Chatham Kent YMCA include two pools, gymnasium, walking track, aerobics room, youth fitness room and community rooms. Views between and into the building’s two levels encourages users to try as many different activities as possible. Spaces throughout were pushed, pulled and skewed for visual and physical connectivity to activate users, create gathering spaces and bring energy and life into the building. By using an approach to planning called equality of space, this facility also ensures all members, regardless of age or ability, have the same opportunities for wellness.
The Chatham Kent YMCA sets a benchmark in the design of recreation projects by creating a dynamic and sunlit environment that protects user privacy. Light wells located along public corridors draw natural light deep into the building’s interior. The placement of exterior glazing ensures that a view to adjacent wooded landscapes is enjoyed by the majority of building occupants. Clerestory windows in the concourse area contribute to the reduction of artificial lighting.