2020 Wood Design & Building Award Winners

FeaturedWood Champion

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JURORS

Anne Schopf
Partner
Mahlum
mahlum.com

John Newman
Director
Snøhetta 
snohetta.com

David Edmunds
Partner
GEC Architecture
gecarchitecture.com

Much like 2020, this has been a year unlike any other, and as most events became virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, the annual awards were postponed and held in early spring via video conference. Luckily, the awards entry platform has been cloud-based for several years, so the transition was relatively seamless. Although the staff and jurors missed the opportunity to connect in person, the daylong session was just as engaging and animated as ever. 

Each year a three-person jury independently reviews the submissions, and on the final day of judging, the entries with the highest scores are discussed and reviewed by the group. This year we welcomed Anne Schopf, partner at Mahlum; John Newman, director and senior architect at Snøhetta; and David Edmunds, partner at GEC Architecture. Each jury has a unique perspective on architecture, and this year, most decisions were resolved without considerable debate. Those projects chosen as the winners were selected definitively, with unanimous enthusiasm.

The selection of the Honor winners is always fascinating because what might strike someone as a grand design is not necessarily what catches the attention of the jury. Creativity and unique applications, along with balance and elegance, consistently rise to the top – as demonstrated by the three projects chosen for 2020. A small library in China nestled against a natural rock wall, an outdoor recreation rink in Quebec and a multipurpose barn in Arkansas might not sound like award-winning ideas, but all three jurors were struck by the beautiful execution and striking impact of these structures. As Schopf commented, “Simple and elegant is really, really hard to do.” Each project shows the versatility of working with wood, and perhaps not coincidentally, all three Honor winners create environments that encourage a communal experience. 

This year, we also expanded the magazine awards coverage to include more detail about the Merit, Citation and sponsored awards, because in many cases, these are structures that narrowly missed the top category. Seven countries are represented, with 16 winners from Canada and 10 from the U.S. Among the winners, Perkins&Will, Marlon Blackwell Architects, LUO Studio, Brook McIlroy, 1×1 architecture and Michael Green Architecture each claimed two awards.

In partnership with the Canadian Wood Council, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2020 Wood Design & Building Awards program, with special thanks to our three jurors and the program’s sponsors. Congratulations to the winners!  

HONOR AWARD

Zheshui Natural Library
Zheshui Village, Shanxi Province, China

In northern China, the Zheshui Natural Library is named for the way it blends into its site between a rock cliff and a canal. The 525-sq.ft. library is nestled next to the rocks, using them for two sides of the library and for seating. The wood shelves opposite the rocks hold books while also supporting the sloping, wood-framed roof. 

All of the timber is lightweight, minimizing the foundations and disruptions to the landscape. The library is enclosed by glass, with windows on the short ends and glass bricks across the long elevation facing the canal. The “naturalness” of the library is enhanced by a large tree that punctures the roof by the entrance.

The library reflects the village, which is closely articulated by the topography; many houses are built by leaning on the mountain. The Natural Library is inspired by this traditional construction method, with the “bookshelf” providing three functions: column-grid structure, a place to sit and, of course, shelves for the books. Light foundations were installed with minimal damage to the land. 

Each component is connected to form a stable structural system. The gaps between the columns are filled with glass bricks, creating both an internal and external partition while supporting the building. The roof is assembled with two layers of panels, one layer laid horizontally and the other laid longitudinally. All the components work together to form the structural system, which is especially elegant in its simplicity. 

Architect

LUO Studio

Beijing, China

Structural Engineer

Yuejie Luo

Beijing, China

General Contractor

Shangmuzao Building Technique Co., Ltd.

Beijing, China

Photography

Weiqi Jin

Beijing, China

Patinoire du Parc des Saphirs
Boischatel, QC

Situated on a former Hydro-Quebec easement on the outskirts of Quebec’s capital region, this project is part of an urban park on the edge of the Royal Québec Golf Club. The new roof structure aims to provide a protected playground that can be used as an ice rink in winter and doubles as a ball hockey or basketball court in summer.

The strategic use of wood is the project’s greatest innovation. The design of the rink’s roof was the hardest challenge, using a combination of glulam and steel to increase span without breaking the budget. The objective was to give an impression of lightness while exploiting the full potential of wood. Several iterations were developed to optimize the structure and achieve the most efficient concept. The adaptability expected for this building prompted the team to develop a project that could accommodate both winter and summer sports, while ensuring maximum utility of the service building.

The glulam structure in tandem with the steel tensioning system permits a free span of 28 meters, despite the relative thinness of the members. The geometry of the structure allows drainage on both sides of the roof, facilitating rainwater management. This large wooden veil rests on a steel colonnade extending on both sides of the playing surface. Without any additional elements, the bracing of the entire roof structure is integrated within the steel support system.

The unique shape of the roof is intrinsically innovative. The main trusses’ variable girths are sized to minimize wood volume across the structure. Each truss is constructed using two identical pieces of wood assembled to conceal the connections between the trusses, tie rods and columns. Dozens of hidden connectors are needed to connect the trusses and columns. Angled in two different directions, columns are supported halfway between two trusses. The columns are off-kilter in all directions, yielding breathtaking results.

The service building functions as a garage for ice rink maintenance equipment and houses a visitor reception area, which is a common room for various activities including rentals. The service building is fully supported by a light timber frame structure and covered with spruce siding that marks its relationship to the large roof. It closes off the northeastern facade, shielding the playing surface from prevailing winter winds. Marrying function with elegance, this facility provides shelter while enhancing the outdoor experience.

Client 

Ville de Boischatel

Boischatel, QC

Architect 

ABCP architecture

Quebec City, QC

Structural Engineer 

L2C Experts

Montreal, QC

Timber Supplier

Art Massif

Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, QC

Photography 

Stéphane Groleau

Montreal, QC 

Thaden School Bike Barn
Bentonville, AR

The Thaden School is an independent junior and secondary school that combines academic excellence with “learning by doing” via three signature programs: Wheels, Meals and Reels. Through its partnerships with nearby community organizations, the school provides students with learning opportunities on and off campus, both indoors and out.

Sitting atop a berm on the eastern edge of the campus, the Bike Barn transfigures the vernacular of the region into an athletic facility housing a multi-use activity space, bike storage and support facilities. The 6,700-
sq.ft. structure starts with the profile and space of a gambrel barn (made prolific in the region for its increased vertical storage capacity) and reconfigures it to create maximum flexibility for volleyball, basketball, cycling and more, with the spring point of the gable set to provide the most vertical clearance before the trusses begin. 

Working with a local truss manufacturer, the truss was examined at an elemental level and its logic rethought in the creation of a bold figure attuned to its new purpose. In instances where structural steel was needed, light-gauge flitch plates were used as a continuation of regional building practices in favor of introducing other structural profiles foreign to the local timber construction culture. 

Akin to a barn raising, 12 trusses were hoisted into place above dimensional wood columns with steel flitch plates, revealing the profile of a modified gambrel barn carved into the space of the interior. Set over a copper insect screen, the entire exterior is clad in a combination of red-painted and clear-finished open-joint cypress, articulating the body of the barn and where it is carved away on the west, forming a porch. Oriented towards the soccer field, this west porch provides an elevated, sheltered area for spectators. 

With the exception of the storage and locker room volume, the entire space is naturally ventilated through open-joint cypress board siding, vented skylights and a series of roller doors that can open the barn to the surrounding landscape. 

The Bike Barn taps into an expanding cycling culture in the region and is integrated into a network of pedestrian pathways and a larger system of trails that extend throughout Northwest Arkansas. As the largest producer of timber in the American South, historically Arkansas has been an extractive state, where its timber is harvested and then shipped to be used elsewhere. In contrast to the idea of extraction, the Bike Barn explores the specificities of locality and the material culture of timber in the state. 

Architect

Marlon Blackwell Architects

Fayetteville, AR

Structural Engineer

Engineering Consultants Inc.

Lowell, AR

General Contractor

Crossland Construction Company, Inc.

Columbus, KS

Photography

Timothy Hursley

Little Rock, AR 

MERIT AWARDS

Bar U Ranch Work Horse Barn

In Longview, Alberta, the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada is home to the largest collection of historical ranch buildings in Canada. This project entailed rehabilitating the Work Horse Barn, a Classified Federal Heritage Building. The 2,745-sq.ft. structure features exposed log walls, wood board ceilings and wood flooring with exposed aggregate concrete slab. The project included repair and replacement of exterior wood siding, interior structural reinforcement and bracing, and the reinstatement of the Bar U Ranch brand on the wood roof shingles. Preservation of existing materials was accomplished with gentle cleaning and a new application of linseed oil paint finishes on the exterior, completed this spring. 

ARCHITECT

1×1 architecture inc.

Winnipeg, MB

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Heritage Conservation Services, PSPC

Ottawa, ON

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Nitro Construction

Lethbridge, AB

CO-OP Ramen

The ceiling, seating and booths of this restaurant in Bentonville, Arkansas, are made from simple, construction-quality plywood, enhanced through careful joinery and detailing. This unique 3,354-sq.ft. building, with a dining area of only 1,500 sq.ft., now has a remarkable variety of spaces that remain unified by the design and material palette. Sheets of Douglas fir plywood start as the point of departure for the organizing cells of the ceiling; the sheets were subdivided and optimized to create multiple cells per sheet. The restaurant interior is organized by a rectangular grid of 2-ft.-10-in. by 3-ft.-10-in. modules that introduce a consistent rhythm throughout. 

ARCHITECT

Marlon Blackwell Architects

Fayetteville, AR

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Gore 227 Inc.

Pea Ridge, AR

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Heart + Soule Builders LLC

Bentonville, AR

Cottonwood Cabins

Located just outside Thoreau, New Mexico, Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions built six cabins, each 500 sq.ft., which includes a 100-sq.ft. deck with two cabin spaces on each side. This project – part of a 19-week Master’s of Architecture design-build program – represented an investigation into alternative mass timber assembly methods. Standard lumber is replaced with 3×6-in. tongue-and-groove timbers, while swapping nails for engineered screws. The assembly eliminates the use of glue to achieve solid floors, walls and ceilings, allowing exposure to the exterior elements. The walls were assembled on-site, eliminating the need for cranes, which were unusable given the inaccessibility of the area. Doors are mounted on sliding tracks and conceived as movable walls, while large glazing areas allow the interiors to be flooded by light. 

ARCHITECT

Students from the ColoradoBuildingWorkshop at the University of Colorado, Denver; faculty: Rick Sommerfeld, Will Koning and JD Signom

Denver, CO

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Andy Paddock

Colorado Springs, CO

Horizon Neighborhood

Horizon is the first pre-designed neighborhood to be built at 9,000 ft. elevation on Powder Mountain, in Utah. The 30 wood-clad cabins range in size from 1,000–3,000 sq.ft. The cabins are aggregated around courtyards that maximize both community and privacy. Interestingly, cabins are accessed on the second floor via steel bridges due to the extremely high annual snowfall. The siting of the buildings and bridges was organized carefully to minimize views into neighboring units, while framing unobstructed, sunset views. Passive solar orientation is combined with thermal mass concrete floors and hydronic in-floor heating, while protected courtyards create “micro-climates” in an otherwise open, windswept landscape. The neighborhood will allow the majority of Powder Mountain’s 11,500 acres to remain undeveloped and conserved for future generations. Important design considerations included following strict codes dictating building assemblies that were non-combustible because of the prevalence of wildfires in the region.

ARCHITECT

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Halifax, NS

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Dynamic Structures

Provo, UT

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Mountain Resort Builders

Park City, UT

Oregon State University Forest Science Complex

In Corvallis, Oregon, this project encompasses two new mass timber buildings totaling 110,000 sq.ft., featuring the first use of CLT rocking shear walls in North America. The Roseburg Forest Products Atrium is shaped by towering two-storey Douglas fir columns, sourced locally and fabricated less than 500 miles from the site. The exterior is clad in Oregon red alder that has been modified through acetylation to increase dimensional stability and resist rot. The project design approach was created in collaboration with multiple groups, which meant that the buildings themselves were designed to be a living laboratory – something to interact with and to learn from. The Advanced Wood Products Laboratory (18,000 sq.ft.) provides dedicated research spaces for developing and testing leading-edge wood products and technologies. 

ARCHITECT

Michael Green Architecture

Vancouver, BC

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.

Vancouver, BC

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Andersen Construction Company Inc.

Portland, OR

Party and Public Service Center of Yuanheguan Village

In the Hubei province of China, the Yuanheguan Village committee office needed to be moved and reconstructed, so the architects recommended a neglected residential plot for the new site. Wooden structures were utilized to fit into the local context and the site’s existing concrete columns and foundations were incorporated to maximize design efficiency. The architects focused on avoiding damage to the original structure and were able to effectively combine the new extension with the old construction. The 5,876-sq.ft. building provides a shared environment where community members can gather; except for the conference area, the finance room and two enclosed equipment rooms, all other spaces are open, with seating, reading and communication areas.

ARCHITECT

LUO Studio

Beijing, China

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Yuejie Luo

Beijing, China

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Shangmuzao Building Technique Co., Ltd.

Beijing, China

The Roger Bacon Bridge 

Part of a three-lane vehicle highway, this 207-ft.-long bridge in Nappan, Nova Scotia, was designed by the engineer for the province’s Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department. It is Canada’s longest clear-span three-lane timber bridge, replacing a steel structure with a similar arch profile. The existing steel superstructure was removed due to structural concerns, but the timber pile substructure was able to be revitalized and used in the new design. An independent consultant determined that timber construction would be the best choice due to the lower economic impact, longevity, aesthetics and lightweight nature of the material. The Douglas fir elements were treated with copper naphthenate; pentachlorophenol is prohibited in Nova Scotia. To adhere to soffit height conditions, a composite timber deck network was engineered to support traffic loads (up to 62.5T) while maintaining a shallow depth. In addition, the bridge was designed with multiple piles that allow for replacement and redundancy within the design; this allows elements to be interchanged if required. 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Wood Research and Development

Lower Cape, NB

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Timber Restoration Services

Moncton, NB

SoLo

Atop a forested knoll overlooking the Soo Valley in B.C., this off-grid residential prototype demonstrates a unique approach to building in a remote environment. As the first structure built to establish a zero-emissions alpine community, SoLo was designed to express a performance-led aesthetic. Wood was chosen as the primary structural material, resulting in beyond-net-zero energy ratings and Passive House certification. An outer heavy timber frame acts as a shield to resist the weather, while the heavily insulated inner layer acts as the thermal barrier. An innovative structural solution eliminates the need for wood shear walls by introducing two tension-rod braced frames at each end; this allows the frames to collect the seismic loads from the roof and enables unobstructed views from the large feature window. Double-height glazing takes advantage of the valley’s incredible views. Wood is exposed in its entirety throughout the home – a “temple to Douglas fir.” (To read more about this project, see the Winter 2020–21 issue of Wood Design & Building.)

ARCHITECT

Perkins&Will

Vancouver, BC

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Glotman Simpson

Vancouver, BC

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Durfeld Constructors

Whistler, BC

Wooden Villa

The entry for this unique single-family home in Soulac Sur Mer, France, is directly into the 1,400-sq.ft. living space or into one of the five other rooms. Made of larch, concrete and steel, the structure makes the most of the four directions of north, east, south and west. The home’s roof is made of 136 larch caissons and aligns symmetrically with the matching floor of 136 okoume wood panels. A scaffolding warehouse had to be installed on-site to shelter the construction; the level of precision required to build the roof did not allow for any humidity. As well, there are no screws and no apparent nails used in construction. The use of shadow joints offers a unique sense of fluidity both inside and outside the house.

ARCHITECT

Nicolas Dahan Architects

Paris, France

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Cesma

Madrid, Spain

CITATION AWARDS

111 East Grand Ave.

This is the first DLT office building in the U.S. The four-storey, 65,000-sq.ft. structure offers three floors of commercial office space over street-level retail. After interviews with various suppliers, the design team decided to pursue DLT because of mass timber’s lasting benefits, including carbon sequestration and biophilia, which contribute to occupant health and support a sustainable work environment. The structure utilizes 41,671 cu.ft. of timber, including Eastern spruce glulam, all of which sequesters 284 tons of carbon and 1,042 tons of CO2. A “kit-of-parts” approach allowed the entire structure to be erected within a seven-week period. Black Zalmag panel rainscreens clad the east, north and west elevations, striking a complimentary contrast to the natural Accoya wood. (The Winter 2018-19 issue of Wood Design & Building features a technical case study about this project.)

ARCHITECT

Neumann Monson Architects

Des Moines, IA

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Engineer of record for timber superstructure: StructureCraft Builders; Base building engineer: Raker Rhodes Engineering

Abbotsford, BC; Des Moines, IA

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Ryan Companies

Des Moines, IA

Awen’ Gathering Place

This 1,668-sq.ft. open-air pavilion is prominently sited on a naturalized hilltop in Collingwood’s Harbourview Park which links the town to the waters of Georgian Bay. As a beacon along the the Ontario town’s shoreline, the pavilion creates a symbolic gateway. Alaskan yellow cedar was selected for length, uniform color and resistance to rot and infestation. The wood also lent itself well to the machine-lathing fabrication technique used to form the poles which were hand-hewn to add texture and bring the fine grain of the wood to the foreground. Based on the teachings of renowned Saugeen First Nation educator, artist and poet, Dr. Duke Redbird, the pavilion is a sculptural representation of the food forest, linking each forest layer to one of the Seven Ancestor Teachings – an ancient lesson on the ethics of proper behavior and conduct, or “the good way of life.” 

Des Moines, IA

Awen’ Gathering Place

ARCHITECT 

Brook McIlroy Inc. 

Winnipeg, MB

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Envision-Tatham Inc.

Collingwood, ON

GENERAL CONTRACTOR 

Lafontaine IronWerks

Tiny, ON

Harbor Hideaway

Located in the village of Sag Harbor, New York, the 2,630-sq.ft. Harbor Hideaway is a single-family, two-storey residence. Although the instinct would be to design a house to face the street, the designers decided to flip the traditional orientation of the home to face the rear corner of the yard. The entire home utilizes a simple material palette of blackened steel, light hardwood and neutral colors. At the entry, the custom wood stair design connects the three interior levels of the home with a single gesture and provides a sense of openness that makes the home’s modest footprint feel much larger. A black cedar facade wraps the entire home to naturally shade the south-facing bedrooms from the high summer sun and becomes a visual connection between the home and the carport, creating a covered entry in its path.

ARCHITECT 

The Up Studio 

Long Island City, NY

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Kevin Cieslukowski

San Diego, CA

House of Cards

The geometry of this single-family home in Koksijde, Belgium, is reminiscent of historical beach house architecture in the area, characterized by steep roof angles. This style and the restrictions of the existing foundation steered the architectural logic of the project. At 3,175 sq.ft. gross area and 2,476 sq.ft. net area, the structure has an interesting backstory. Due to structural and zoning constraints, new construction is placed on top of an existing foundation and is limited to a maximum allowable height. As such, the design grew out of the foundation’s asymmetrical cruciform geometry, where each structural bay created a “House of Cards.” The project envelope is built as a timber rainscreen made of chemically seasoned Douglas fir battens. Considered a facade element due to the steep pitch, the  roof is also built from the same technique. To streamline construction and avoid visible screws or nails in the timber battens, the battens were prefabricated. 

ARCHITECT 

Vantieghem Talebi

Los Angeles, CA

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Util Struktuurstudies

Brussels, Belgium

Light & Green Office

This project involved relocating an office from a suburb to the center of the city. With a goal of using locally sourced materials, Ezo pine, a native species of Hokkaido, was selected as the structural material. Employing the traditional Japanese construction method of “shinkabe” (a wall in which framing is set between pillars exposed on the interior side), a highly airtight and insulated two-storey 2,979-sq.ft. building was realized. Lumber remnants generated in the manufacturing process were used to make lattices in the exterior walls. Contact points were made smaller and the materials were divided in three layers to inhibit decay. Use of raw wood was maximized and wood surfaces were left unfinished as much as possible. In planning, the presence of marronnier trees next to the site was taken into account in determining the arrangement of the openings, and a reflection pool was installed to enhance the natural connection to the building’s surroundings. 

ARCHITECT 

Endo Architectural Atelier Co., Ltd.

Hokkaido, Japan

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Kosaku Ando Structural Planning Office Co.

Tokyo, Japan

GENERAL CONTRACTOR 

Hiragata Komuten Co., Ltd.

Hokkaido, Japan

Lookout da Cova

Abadía da Cova Winery required an outdoor space where visitors could enjoy tasting their wines while contemplating the landscape. The architects added a 3,014-sq.ft. open-service area, including an indoor wine bar,  bathroom, storage room area and a small wine-tasting room. To reflect the environmental values that identify Abadía da Cova, the architects wove in the interrelationship of the environment and surrounding landscape. Acetylated Scots pine from 28-year-old plantation trees achieves unparalleled levels of durability and stability; this avoided the use of finishes with biocides that could affect the surrounding vineyards. On the other hand, the decision not to resort to lamination processes meant that available timber sizes were limited and dimensions were reduced. Also, considering the exposure to wind forces, different strategies were implemented. The configuration of the porticos was solved by triangulating in such a way that all elements are, in general, only subject to axial efforts. The whole structure is anchored to the ground by means of a slab and reinforced concrete walls, providing the necessary rigidity. The outer side of the concrete walls is resolved with a formwork of wooden logs of varied diameters.

ARCHITECT 

Arrokabe Arquitectos SLP

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Mecanismo Ingeniería

Madrid, Spain

GENERAL CONTRACTORS 

Construcciones Joalpe SL; José Vázquez Santos (auxiliary building, wine bar carpenter)

Maceda, Spain; La Coruña, Spain

Odeyto Indigenous Centre at Seneca College

Odeyto (the Anishinaabe word for “good journey”) is the new
1,600-sq.ft. home for the First Peoples at Seneca College Newnham Campus in Toronto. Conceptually, the project was inspired by the image of a wood canoe pulling up to a dock – making a stop at Seneca College to gather knowledge before continuing on life’s journey. As the only building on campus with an organic, curvilinear design, the “wood canoe” has a distinctive presence. One of the strongest cultural references is in the structure of the roof. Resembling the hull of an overturned wood canoe in both form and construction, it is supported by 28 Douglas fir glulam ribs supporting a tongue-and-groove Douglas fir deck. This species was selected for its warm color and its patina as it ages. The ribs were factory sanded and finished with Sansin SDF sealant to protect the wood, whereas the Douglas fir decking was left in its natural state. 

ARCHITECTS 

Gow Hastings Architects;

Two Row Architect

(Indigenous design)

Toronto, ON; Ohsweken, ON 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

Toronto, ON

GENERAL CONTRACTOR 

Mettko

Toronto, ON

Passive Ski Cabin

This project in B.C. involved constructing a unique, 3,800-sq.ft. home designed to optimize views of Mt. Begbie, Revelstoke’s “most recognizable summit.” A central courtyard was inspired by the owner’s travels to Japan, where many residences have private courtyards. The client wanted a sustainable house, so the builders started by incorporating a main superstructure of CLT panels, with no interior constructed supporting frame. The exterior of the CLT is braced by timber angles and fully clad in 12-in. wood fiber insulation. The exterior cladding is cedar burnt in the style of shou sugi ban, the Japanese treatment of charring wood to make it weatherproof. The interior shows off the raw nature of the CLT timber walls.

ARCHITECT 

STARK Architecture Ltd.

Mississauga, ON

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Woodall Structural Engineering Ltd.

Calgary, AB

GENERAL CONTRACTOR 

Tree Construction

Revelstoke, BC

Veil House

This 3,300-sq.ft. single-family home uses wood in an original, contemporary way. This project also strove to upcycle used wood as part of its sustainability goals. The architect utilized wood as a tool for cladding, turning the horizontal conventions of tongue-and-groove Western red cedar 90 degrees to create a vertical format, then wrapping the wood to the roof to achieve a monolithic wall treatment. A silver stain to the cedar was added to help expedite its patina and lower the maintenance footprint. This also served to achieve a timeless, “it’s always been there” look. 

ARCHITECT 

Measured Architecture

Vancouver, BC

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Entuitive Corporation

Vancouver, BC

Whistler Gateway Loop

In Whistler, B.C., the 6,000-sq.ft. canopy of the Whistler Gateway Loop creates a dramatic first impression for visitors arriving by highway coach. The design team developed a spruce-pine timber structure comprised of a triangular arrangement of glulam beams supporting CLT panels. To showcase the natural beauty of the engineered wood, the support systems were pared down; the number of columns was minimized, braces were eliminated and timber connections were concealed. The wood-on-steel structure creates a stiff yet light roof that can manage the demanding snow loads. The HSK system by Timber Composite Technology was chosen for its strength, stability and concealed adhesive connections. This use of the system is the most ambitious to date, according to its developers.

ARCHITECT 

PUBLIC: Architecture + Communication

Vancouver, BC

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 

Fast + Epp 

Vancouver, BC

GENERAL CONTRACTOR 

B. Cusano Contracting

Surrey, BC

CANADIAN WOOD COUNCIL AWARDS

720 Yonge St.

The first commercial mass timber project to be built in Toronto integrates the character of the original heritage structure with new contemporary wings. The design employs innovative mass timber elements, most notably the all-wood, fire-rated elevator shafts and exit stairs, which reduced the need for poured concrete construction. The three-storey building features exposed wood elements consisting of Douglas fir/larch glulam columns and beams, in combination with spruce-pine-fir CLT floors, roof, core partitions, guard walls and shaft assemblies. 

ARCHITECT

Brook McIlroy

Toronto, ON

Heritage consultant

ERA Architects

Toronto, ON

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Blackwell Structural Engineers

Waterloo, ON

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

JMC Building Developments

Concord, ON

Bromont Summit Chalet

Perched at the summit of Mont Brome in Quebec, this ski chalet was built with sustainable, local products and local craftsmanship. Its interior exposes natural, soft light and warm wood through an envelope of immaculate white, designed to frame the landscape. The wooden envelope takes on a structural role and forms an envelope of cedar, chosen for its natural appearance and ecological properties. Wooden strips of varying sizes allow for the integration of various lighting elements and a variety of textures, while creating a dialogue between the peripheral wooden structure and a strong wooden core, key to the project’s structural design.

ARCHITECT

LEMAY

Toronto, ON

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

ELEMA

Montreal, QC

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

DECAREL

Montreal, QC

Edmonton Valley Zoo Urban Farm

This 17,437-sq.ft. project facilitates an immersive visitor experience, thanks in part to its expressive and engaging heavy timber structure. The team worked closely with Beam Craft to refine the connection between heavy timber elements. Each connection detail was modeled in three dimensions, with the information from these “3D shop drawings” used to inform the milling of individual structural members. This integrated approach to fabrication greatly reduced the time required to erect the timber structure. The use of wood as a primary construction material connects traditional modes of construction with contemporary fabrication techniques and reinforces the zoo’s commitment to sustainable design practices. 

ARCHITECT

the marc boutin architectural collaborative inc.

Calgary, AB

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

Edmonton, AB

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Clark Builders

Edmonton, AB

Green Gables Visitors Centre

In Cavendish, P.E.I., the site that inspired the Anne of Green Gables series is one of the most visited National Parks in Canada. At 12,809 sq.ft., this project was initiated to accommodate a growing number of visitors and add much-needed exhibition and gathering spaces, acting as the main arrival point. The architecture takes cues from the rural context through vernacular barn forms, connected by a single-storey lobby space, all employing a mass timber structural frame. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the building uses locally sourced wood via exposed mass timber frames, Eastern white cedar shingles, local pine and thermal wood and maple for the interior spaces.  

ARCHITECT

Root Architecture Inc.

Dartmouth, NS

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

CBCL Ltd.

Halifax, NS

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

WM&M Contractors

Charlottetown, PEI

Metrick Cottage and Boathouse

This is a one-storey, semi-charred (shou sugi ban) wood-clad residence and boathouse in Ontario. The residence consists of three distinct “pods” comprising four bedrooms, four baths and an open living area. The design challenge was to create a home using all-natural wood materials, transportable by boat to this remote location. Materials also had to be durable and able to withstand harsh seasonal climates without relying heavily on paints or stains. As a result, Douglas fir timbers, cedar and torrified ash were selected as the main materials. Visible structural components, including exposed roof rafters and scissor joists, are prefabricated Douglas fir. The hidden structural components used throughout were prefabricated wood TJI joists, wood wall structure framing and LVL beams. 

ARCHITECT

Akb Architects

Toronto, ON

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Moses Structural Engineers

Toronto, ON

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Mazenga North Building Group

North York, ON

T3 West Midtown

Currently the largest mass timber building in the U.S., T3 West Midtown is a 255,000-sq.ft. commercial development situated in Atlanta, Georgia. The client made wood the primary component of its T3 buildings because it is the only renewable structural material and offers advantages of aesthetics, energy efficiency, acoustics and light. T3 West Midtown is an amenity-rich, modern loft office concept that provides the character and warmth of late 1800s heavy timber buildings, with the advantages of modern, class-A construction. The layout features open floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows, heavy timber columns, beams and concrete floors, with retail areas at the first level. 

ARCHITECT

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture;
Architect of record: DLR Group

Chicago, IL

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Chicago, IL

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

New South Construction

Atlanta, GA

Toronto Montessori School Bayview Campus

This 22,292-sq.ft. addition includes an atrium, offices, double gym and related support areas. The semi-circular building wraps around a landscaped entry plaza, where a double-height atrium is supported by a tree-like wood structure made of Douglas fir. Three arches support the main load of the building. From the arches, a series of beams span across the triangular curtain walls and connect the perimetral columns. The beams form a mid-range fractal pattern, emulating the tree-like patterns. The main structure is finished with exposed wood beams and wood deck, giving the atrium a sense of warmth. A key aspect of the design was using as much natural light as possible. An entrance canopy made of wood and stone follows the building’s footprint.

Architect

Farrow
Partners Inc.

Toronto, ON

Structural Engineers

WSP Global Inc.; Timber Systems Ltd. (timber fabrication/
design assist)

Toronto, ON;
Markham, ON

General Contractor

TriAxis
Construction Ltd.

Mississauga, ON

SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE – SPONSORSHIP AWARD

Robert Libke Public Safety Building 

In Oregon City, Oregon, this building anchors a civic campus that celebrates history and provides enhanced amenities to the neighborhood. The building is constructed of mass timber – from the tall, vaulted roof of the multipurpose courtroom/council chambers to the interior shear walls. CLT gravity-bearing exterior walls support glulam girders, thereby eliminating perimeter columns, keeping the ceiling plane clean and highlighting the exposed CLT roof structure above. Rarely used juniper wood, sourced from eastern Oregon and located on the slats of the exterior benches, will develop a beautiful natural gray patina. The entire design creates a healthy working environment full of natural wood materials and daylight.

ARCHITECT

FFA Architecture and Interiors Inc.

Portland, OR

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

KPFF Consulting Engineers

Portland, OR

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

P&C Construction

Portland, OR

WESTERN RED CEDAR – SPONSORSHIP AWARD

Travis Price Centre, Camp Manitou

This year-round camp is located on 28 acres of land near Winnipeg. Envisioned as the centerpiece of the camp, the Travis Price Centre is a flexible, multi-use facility that includes a hall, commercial kitchen, dormitories, administrative offices and meeting rooms. The building’s form consists of two adjacent gable-roofed volumes, offset in plan to provide views to the exterior and create outdoor spaces. The primary structure, including trusses, roof joists, load-bearing columns and walls, is constructed of wood. Shiplap cedar siding is utilized on soffits and walls at the entrances. Cedar also is used to highlight the exterior gathering area along the building’s south facade and is prominently featured on the vaulted ceiling of the hall. Douglas fir veneer is used on all of the interior doors, while solid Douglas fir is used for interior and exterior benches. Lionply birch panels are used in the dorm rooms to provide a durable finish. Wood also is used for exterior elements, including the large pressure-treated deck and cedar fencing. 

ARCHITECT

1×1 architecture inc.

Winnipeg, MB

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd.

Winnipeg, MB

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Concord Projects Ltd.

Winnipeg, MB

Sansin – Sponsorship Award

SANSIN – SPONSORSHIP AWARD

Catalyst Building

Located in Spokane, Washington, the 164,800-sq.ft., five-storey Catalyst Building is the first office building in the state to be constructed of CLT. Featuring more than 140,000 cu.ft. of CLT, the building sequesters 4,093 tons of CO2. The timber was sourced from local, sustainably managed forests and the panels were manufactured locally. Innovative prefabricated mass timber floor plates were developed to provide 30-ft. spans, using a ribbed panel system that combines CLT panels atop glulam “ribs” to provide the necessary strength and rigidity. Catalyst is pursuing Zero Energy and Zero Carbon certification, making it one of the largest buildings in North America to meet both standards. To help achieve this rating, the roof is covered with a 213 kW photovoltaic array. (The Winter 2020–21 issue features a case study about this innovative project.)     

ARCHITECT

MGA | Michael Green Architecture; Architect of record: Katerra

Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

KPFF Consulting Engineers

Portland, OR

GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Katerra

Seattle, WA

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