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May 2, 2014

Interior Commercial (British Columbia) --
Thompson Rivers University

Photo by Paul Odermatt
A steel-suspended engineered wood ceiling follows the curves of the Main Building’s undulating roofline.

Location: Kamloops

Contractor: Tru-Wal Interiors (2013)

Architects: Diamond Schmitt Architects; Stantec

Team: B.C. Ceiling Systems; Commercial Construction Supply; CGC/USG; Bailey Metal Products

Phase one of the Thompson Rivers University project started with the massive undertaking of adding two floors and a new roof over the existing Main Building. Phase two consisted of refinishing 45,000 square feet of the third and fourth floor interiors, which required noise restrictions during class sessions.

The university wanted to create a beautiful exterior that would become a new landmark and a livable, vibrant space central to student life. The complexity of adding two upper floors with the intricate roofline was especially difficult.

The winning design incorporated expansive views of mounts Peter and Paul and the undulating roofline mirrored the Kamloops horizon. The interior designs included steel-suspended engineered wood ceilings following the same curves of the roofline — a challenge since the detailed work was 30 to 40 feet above floor level.

The atrium has a large bulkhead over a suspended walkway connecting the east and west wings of the fourth floor. Framing, boarding and finishing was laborious because the serpentine-like structure included recessed areas with hidden light troughs.

Loading limitations, building access points and weight restrictions on suspended concrete slabs were demanding. And because of noise restrictions during classes, much of the work was done after hours to meet the tight schedule.

Judge’s comment: “The splendor of undulating and curving rooflines, which mirror the Kamloops horizon, make the addition and revitalization of the TRU’s “Old Main” building one of the most innovative buildings in the BC Interiors. Exceptional design and workmanship resulted in a vibrant space for students.”

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