Serving disadvantaged youth, The Balance Foundation building is a re-imagining of what a recreation center can be as a catalyst for change in the community.

Started by Colton Lewis, The Balance Foundation is the fundraising initiative supporting the Brett Wiese Memorial Scholarship awarded at the University of Calgary. The foundation focuses on providing youth access to proper mentorship and coaching, primarily though sport.

Project Specs




Calgary, Alberta





Working with the client, we determined a series of objectives early in the design process, which drove the overall concept and direction of the project. As a rethink of what a youth center should be within today’s context, several of the objectives diverged from what would normally be expected in a traditional recreational building or youth support center.

1. Non institutionalized space that does not marginalize the kids further.

2. A hangout; keep coming back and make the place your own.

3. Responds and cradles the changes youths face.

4. Food, food there must be food!!

5. Encourage self awareness.

6. Burn energy, interact and share.

7. Flexible spaces – a building that is not a rec-center for youths.

8. Respond to seasons – indoor outdoor space.

9. Challenge the norm – make the roof accessible and fun (but safe).

10. Spaces for the shy and bold.

11. Support meaningful and appropriate mentorship.

Integrating the objectives determined with the client, the architecture is centered around the ideas of connecting and spanning spaces, utilizing forms found in natural rock formations to invite users to engage, explore and traverse the project.