National Arts Centre, Ottawa
The Transformation of the National Arts Centre Building
StructureCraft was engaged by PCL to provide design-assist, fabrication, and supply skills for this new addition to the National Arts Centre in Canada in time for Canada’s 150-year anniversary.
We worked alongside with Diamond Schmitt, Fast + Epp, and PCL to design and build the new feature roof portion of the project. The complexity of the architectural design, the short timeline, and the restricted site access demanded careful engineering, detailed modelling, and a prefab approach which facilitated just-in-time delivery from a nearby staging site.
The façade has columns ranging from 30 to 50 ft. long, all supporting hybrid panels of varied sizes. These triangular roof panels are comprised of trapezoidal glulam segments of continually varying depths fastened together by 65 ft. (+/-) steel plates running along the long side of each coffered panel. An acoustic panel is supported at middle height inside each panel, hiding from view an intricate web of electrical conduit, sprinkler pipes, theatrical equipment - all preinstalled off-site.
The complexity of the geometry, the reduced tolerances, the amount of prefabrication required, the pre-installation of varied utilities, and the stringent schedule made for a challenging but rewarding project.
StructureCraft worked closely with the rest of the design team to refine the connections providing viable suggestion both from the fabrication and the installation point of view.
The design required significant collaboration between us and the MEP trades – due to the scale of MEP integration required, the panels had to be raised from the floor in order to allow trades to work from below and from above at the same time.
To reduce transportation costs and to deal with the massive covered space required to pre-fabricate these panels, we set up our assembly lines in a rented shop just outside Ottawa.
Installation of the roof panels was a smooth process, simplified by our offsite pre-fabrication and detailed erection planning during the design and fabrication phase. The large Glulam assemblies were fully wrapped to ensure protection of the timber from staining through the course of construction.