Nov 8, 2016: We’re happy to be recipients of this year’s Jury’s Choice Award in the 2016 Atlantic Wood Design Awards program.
The St. John Ambulance Headquarters building is a hybrid one story building that combines several functions under one roof: administrative centre, supply warehouse, learning and teaching facility, and home base for travelling instructors.
Wood provided a familiar building material and economical choice for smaller-scaled portions of the building. The Administration wing of the project is primarily standard dimensional framing – easily adaptable and configurable for a standard office layout for private and shared workspaces. The wood trusses in the classroom wing provide column-free learning spaces and enhance the aesthetics of the exposed tongue and groove structural pine decking in these spaces. Clerestory windows are spaced between each of the classrooms’ trusses with light fixtures integrated into the truss forms themselves, providing an integrated approach to daylighting and artificial lighting strategies.
Wood, expressed as an interior finish in classroom spaces, provides a warm natural material, creating engaging spaces in which to teach and learn.
Overall, responsible use of wood was an important part of the project’s sustainability goals.
Wood was chosen to work in conjunction with steel in order to take advantage of efficiencies for different spans, provide character to interior spaces where exposed, and offer an easy to source and easy to work with material.
Steel post and beam structure provides the framework within which a curving and expressive exterior curtainwall is implemented: wood trusses continue from the interior to provide a generous and protective overhang that helps keep the interior spaces at the curtainwall comfortable, while connected to the exterior. The use of steel in this area minimized the number and size of columns and allowed them to more easily be located outside of the building envelope.
The standard dimensional framing of the administrative area was a cost-effective and easy-to-construct approach that helped keep on-site activities moving.
Plywood was used in conjunction with standard dimensional framing to provide shearwalls as part of the overall structural solution.