Beyond its condo-strewn skyline, one of Toronto’s most impressive recent transformations is taking place in Regent Park, a once-notorious housing project that is transitioning into a vibrant mixed-use community. This aquatic centre serves as its heart, inviting in both long-time residents and newcomers. Clad in black zinc panels with a green roof, the low-slung 2,600-square-metre building is generously glazed: a raised, glass-covered spine runs along its axis, and a “dorsal fin” of a skylight brings light into the swim halls and change rooms, with double sliding doors off the main pool area leading sunbathers to the park-side terrace. Inside, the faceted wooden ceilings bring a sense of grandeur to the morning swim. mjmarchitects.com
Regent Park Aquatic centre, and Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, both in Toronto; Valencia Waste Treatment Plant; Elena Garro Cultural Centre, Mexico City; WMS Boathouse, Chicago; and Community Rowing Boathouse, Boston.