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The National Arts Centre was rejuvenated in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, with the goal of creating a public building that was accessible and inviting. Over the years, the Brutalist-inspired venue had been renovated in pieces and lacked a cohesive design – its massive footprint meant revitalization would need a concerted effort and healthy budget. The scope for the project included three new connected wings, two new floors of lobby, cultural programming enclosed by a custom glass curtain wall, a grand staircase, and a hexagonal tower overlooking the Rideau Canal. Fast + Epp’s experiences with similarly high-profile projects meant the team was well prepared to take on a project of such scope, despite its challenging schedule.
Working in close collaboration with the design-builder, StructureCraft, Fast + Epp developed a heavy timber structure and a glass-and-steel curtain wall to wrap the structure’s north side, as well as triangular glulam coffers that would be prefabricated off-site with integrated mechanical, electrical and sprinkler systems. Integration significantly sped-up construction times and protected the timber from harsh weather – the roof was installed in just three weeks. Originally designed as a “fortress for culture”, the once monolithic and windowless National Arts Centre now shines as an iconic beacon for performing arts
Assembly (Worship, Restaurant, Theater)
Mass Timber, Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT or glulam), Timber-Frame / Post and Beam, Heavy Timber Decking, Hybrid (wood with steel or concrete), Wood-Concrete Composite Systems