First seven under construction
Quadrangle Architects’ design for the Ontario Highway Service Centres an accessible, convenient, friendly and safe environment for the traveling public; while introducing a unique, consistent and clearly identifiable image for Highway Service Centres throughout the province. Each centre is linked with its own unique locality using a contemporary architectural form that is also rooted in a traditional vocabulary of forms and materials.
The designs for all three sizes of highway service centres incorporate three distinctive and readily recognizable components: a glass atrium with sloped glass walls covered by a sloped metal roof; traditional indigenous stone walls that anchor the buildings to the ground; and wood trellises and canopies.
The glass atrium acts as the visual focus of the centre from both the exterior and interior. Its sharp-edged shape recalls the rock outcroppings of the Canadian Shield, which forms much of the topography of northern Ontario. The large expanse of energy-efficient glazing allows for natural light to infuse both the customer seating areas and the interior areas of the structure, allowing less artificial lighting to be used during the day. At night, the light of the atrium acts as a beacon for travelers and the roof overhang provides shading for the glazing and additional protection from precipitation. The stone veneer walls, reminiscent of traditional Ontario stone structures, ties the design back to the historic roots of the province.