New design for RCMP building hopes to ensure the Mounties get their plan
The new Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment Facility is a replacement facility providing Protective Services for the City of Prince George, a northern city with a population of over 70,000.
One of the City’s broader goals is to create public facility design that enhances their revitalisation efforts in the downtown core. There is also a desire to express the forest industry’s importance to the City through a strong and visually interesting display of wood in the fabric of the building.
While the facility functionally integrates both Community Policing and Victim Services and Core Protective Services, a ‘welcoming’ public atmosphere and character will help weave the RCMP presence into the broader community fabric.
The building’s iconic nature, spatial arrangement and massing are inspired by forest / mountain meadows, the confluence of two major mountain rivers surrounding the City’s downtown and recent major river 'winter ice jam' events. DNA and fingerprint evidence information became a series of smaller scale inspirations for detail features that enhance the broader iconic imagery. The design response intertwines the broader goals and imagery inspirations into a rich and meaningful iconic community landmark.
Drawing inspiration from local forests and meadows, the prominent arched front public elevation, punctured by a line of symbolic transparent tree like columns and trellis structures frame the urban plaza. The meadow trails flow through and into the site as the two main pedestrian entry routes and confluence together at a public entrance lobby. The Emergency Operation Centre is reminiscent of the sculptural shape of river ‘ice jams’. This inspiration is reinforced by the jagged sidewalk slabs that run through the ‘winter’ northern meadow in contrast to the ‘summer’ southern meadow with its free flowing curved sidewalk and rainwater collection channel.
The Detention Wing is clad in coloured glazing strips reminiscent of the DNA inspiration. Constructed directly behind the DNA themed detention wall glazing is Alberta Research Council’s new direct heat storage system using Phase Change Material technology.
This facility is designed to a LEED Gold Level that features cooling from an underground aquifer; heating from a public district energy plant which will use mill lumber waste; re-use of recycled wood from an existing site building; an exterior living wall for reducing solar gain and; an interior living wall for air purification with dual solar chimneys to ventilate the central atrium.