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Lubor Trubka Associates Architects, Vancouver, Canada

Thursday 07 Apr 2011

Into the woods

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LTA go back to nature by advancing construction technologies and systems with locally-sourced wood 

British Columbia, Canada is a land of endless forests. There are no clay deposits suitable to make bricks, no steel mills, nor cement refractories. Those conventional materials have to be imported from either the east coast or Asia.

Recognising this simple reality, and believing in a philosophy that an architect will use resources and materials available within easy reach, the founder of Lubor Trubka Associates (LTA) focused the firm's ambitions on creating architecture of wood, by advancing construction technologies and systems utilizing wood and engineered wood available in abundance throughout British Columbia.

LTA designs concrete and steel projects, but the firm's creative and engineering passion is awakened by challenging projects that provide the opportunity to advance the sustainable benefits of wood construction technology yet another step further.

To demonstrate LTA's commitment to and passion for developing the culture of wood architecture in BC, they have selected two completed projects, and two that are in the design and research stage.

Wood architecture, if properly conceived and engineered, is not only suitable, but also highly beneficial to any project size and function. This broad applicability is illustrated in the selection of these projects, ranging in size from a private mountain chalet to an Olympic-sized ice arena.

Tseshaht First Nation Multiplex, Port Alberni, BC, serves the essential functions of a small community and expresses the Tseshaht's respect for nature, cultural heritage and their historical reverence for wood. The rich expression of architecture was created by modular repetition of columns, beams and other building elements within a very limited construction budget.

South Surrey Ice Arena, Surrey, BC, pioneered the very first application of Parallam© to a 50 m-span roof structure over an Olympic-sized ice arena. In a competitive selection process the cost of this structure was 23% lower than a conventional steel structure.

Tsu-ma-as Transformation Centre, Port Alberni, BC, now in the design and research stage, will fulfill the community's commercial, cultural, educational and administrative needs within 2,500m² of practically 100% wood and engineered wood building.

Whistler Mountain Chalet, Whistler, BC, is also in the design and research stage. Its 580m² cascade down the steep mountainside is in harmony with the natural topography, and its 100% wood structure is enveloped by a repetition of identical engineered wood panels offset at intervals to invite in the sun on its daily path, and to allow views out to the surrounding mountain peaks.

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Lubor Trubka Associates Architects

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Tseshaht First Nation Health Centre and Multiplex


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