Magma Architecture completes spiky shooting range for Pan American Games

The jagged outline of a maple leaf informed the profile of this shooting range in Ontario, Canada, which was designed by Berlin firm Magma Architecture for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.

Magma Architecture oversaw the creation of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games sport shooting venue, which hosted rifle, pistol and trap shooting events during both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in July 2015.

The event is the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games after the Olympics and the Asian Games, and involves teams from across the Americas. Toronto is the second Canadian city to host the Games after Winnipeg, which had the honour in 1967 and 1999.

Located in a forest near Cookstown, Ontario, about an hour’s drive from Toronto, the venue is now being used as a training facility and has been incorporated into the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club.



Magma Architecture also designed the shooting galleries for the London 2012 Olympic Games, which were covered with a PVC skin interrupted by coloured spots that appeared to be pushing out from the surfaces.

The form of the Toronto venue draws on the palmate shape of the maple leaf, which is the national symbol of Canada.

Raised baffles installed to prevent stray bullets escaping the arena help to define the specific angles of the ridged roofline. The baffles are positioned according to the possible trajectories of bullets travelling different distances.

“Any excess planes not required to contain projectiles were cut away from the facade, resulting in the dynamic and distinctive outer appearance of the building and a high efficiency,” the architects explained in a statement.

The building covers a total area of 5,500 square metres and contains a combined 25- and 50-metre range on the lower level. A 10-metre enclosed range situated on an upper level forms a canopy over the firing line below.

An outdoor ramp extending from ground to first floor was incorporated to ensure straightforward wheelchair access during the Parapan Am Games.

The efficiency of the building’s form helped to reduce the amount of materials used during its construction, which in turn improved its sustainable credentials and allowed it to meet a tight budget.

Standard utility poles and locally sourced timber were used to construct and clad the building. Thse were treated with an Indian summer stain to create the distinctive orange tone.

“Minimised use of renewable materials optimised the sustainability of the design,” the architects added. “The result is an equally visually striking, technically capable and sustainable building.”

Shooting events during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will take place in a timber and concrete venue by Brazilian studio BCMF Arquitetos.

Photography is by Christie Mills.


Project credits:

Client: Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games (TO2015)
Architect: Magma Architecture
Lead consultant: Mott MacDonald Canada
Range design: magma architecture
Architect of record/contact architect: WZMH Architects
Structural/services: Mott MacDonald Canada
Ballistics: Wayne Arendse

Ground floor plan – click for larger image
First floor plan – click for larger image
Section – click for larger image

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