Interior Commercial (British Columbia)

Light-Gauge Steel Framing (British Columbia)

The Atrium

Location: Victoria, B.C.
Contractors: (Interior Commercial) Parker Johnston Industries; (Light-Gauge Steel Framing) Dryco Systems
Architect: D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism
Teams: (Interior Commercial) 9Wood Inc.; (Light-Gauge Steel Framing) GWG Rentals, Hilti Inc., Slegg Construction Materials, Winroc, Armstrong World Industries, Bailey Metal Products, CGC Inc.

Photo courtesy of NWCB
The atrium walls in the Atrium building were made with western hemlock strips attached to light-gauge steel framing.

The Atrium building contains 200,000 square feet of office and retail space and a 10,000-square-foot atrium.

The seven-story central atrium has mature trees, seating and public space. It provides an area for social interaction and casual meetings, and can be adapted as a music venue for evening performances.

D’Ambrosio Architecture chose wood for the atrium to give the space a sense of welcome that is perceptible from the street.

The standout element of the atrium is its wall grilles, which are comprised of 5/8-by-1-inch western hemlock members. The relatively tight 3/8-inch reveals between members emphasize the wood while allowing the grilles to curve to match the atrium’s undulating shape. The reveals also create a high noise transfer coefficient, which allows for acoustic material to be set behind the grilles.

The schedule for finish work in the atrium was tight; it was completed in eight weeks, including the erection and dismantling of scaffolding.

Judge’s comment: “The large atrium is truly an unusual design because of the multi-story, dramatically curved, wood-covered walls. There are two key scopes of work responsible for the interior’s unique and beautiful walls: the light-gauge steel framing layout and work, and the installation of the wood panels, each of which were done under difficult site conditions and turned out excellent. This gives this large indoor-outdoor space a Northwest feel.”

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