Formica Canada helps create new Taggart Parkes Family Clubhouse

A project for vulnerable children and youth in Ottawa's south end.

In 2021-2022, design firm 4té Inc., in collaboration with Hobin Architecture, built the Taggart Parkes Family Clubhouse for the Boys & Girls Club (BGC) Ottawa, a registered charity that provides programming to over 4,500 Ottawa region children and youth each year. A fast-tracked project, the Taggart Parkes Family Clubhouse is a much-needed facility in a underserved area of Ottawa’s south end, previously served only by satellite locations.

The new clubhouse delivers life-changing programming across BGC’s four key pillars: education; physical activity and healthy lifestyle; creative arts; and leadership and social skills. The Clubhouse features teaching kitchens, a gymnasium, homework rooms, a dance studio and several other spaces that offer children and young people a wide range of fun activities.

This project had to be built on a tight timeline and budget so BGC Ottawa could allow the Clubhouse to begin serving the community effectively and efficiently. As a result, very close collaboration was required across design and build teams, city officials, manufacturers, and all other stakeholders involved to ensure success. The project also needed to meet its goal of providing BGC users a fun and functional offering.

A critical part of the mandate called for using durable and timeless materials in the design of the spaces. “Formica products were an easy choice for this project, offering high durability, quality, accessibility, and budget-friendly options for use in a facility like this one. They meet the requirements of the members and will continue to do so in this high-traffic environment,” says Ally Darling-Beaudoin, Lead Designer at 4té Inc.

Thanks to donations from several stakeholders, this project’s biggest challenges – the timeline and the budget – were overcome. Formica donated numerous materials to the project, notably those used in the teaching kitchens, reception, gymnasium change rooms, and donor recognition wall.

Portabello Fine Everform® Solid Surface (786, now discontinued), and Dover White (7197-58), Citadel (1097-58), and Paloma Polar (6698-58) Formica® Laminates was used for the large reception desk, which serves up to three staff members simultaneously. Portabello Fine Solid Surface and Citadel (1097-58) Laminate were used for the cabinets and islands in the teaching kitchens. The hand wash stations in each activity room were built using Paloma Polar (6698-58) and Dover White (7197-58) Formica Laminates, and the gymnasium change room counters were designed with White Spex (931) Everform® Solid Surface.

“When working on this kind of project, partners' and donors' contributions are tremendously valuable. Thanking them and highlighting the importance of their donation is therefore essential. That's why we. wanted to create a donor wall that was both unique and aesthetically pleasing,” says Ally Darling-Beaudoin.

Formica and 4té Inc. collaborated in using BGC Ottawa branded materials to create the donor recognition wall backdrop, featuring customized hexagonal patterning to underlay hexagonal plaques awarded to BGC Ottawa donors, using Formica’s innovative Envision product. This approach allowed the design team to use custom printing to create a durable, aesthetically pleasing and large-scale donor wall at a fraction of typical costs and challenges.

“Formica was instrumental in the work completed for BGC Ottawa. Their generosity and commitment to the project made it a pleasure to work with them. The Formica team was accessible, knowledgeable and helpful in assisting at each stage of this very fast-tracked, budget-conscious project. BGC Ottawa is a charity that provides immensely meaningful programming services to youth in the region to build better futures for them. It was incredible to see Formica also value these efforts and commit to our project’s success. We wouldn’t have the spaces and features we do without their contribution!”, says Ally Darling-Beaudoin.

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