Lamella Dining Hall at Ross Creek

Submitted by Studio North

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Client: Ross Creek Center for the Arts

Location: Ross Creek, NS, Canada

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $135,828

Project Team

Architect

Mark Erickson

Studio North

Architect

Ted Cavanagh

Coastal Studio

Overview

The project is located at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts where it serves as a dining hall and event space that can change with the needs of the performing arts camp. The tubular form is constructed from CNC milled wood components and clad in polycarbonate. The arch structure is formed by a system of intersecting helixes. Strands of the helixes are fastened at intersections with a simple bolt connection. The end result is a timber structure that spans a large distance using short members. The structure covers an area of
1 368 square feet.

Goals

The lamella dining hall at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is a theatrical and dramatic space that sits lightly on the landscape and fits into the context of a children’s performing arts camp. The inherent qualities of the wood used on the project gives the interior space a natural beauty and warmth, while the polycarbonate cladding glows with the colours of the surrounding sky. As the sun moves throughout the day, the building transforms. The slate floor absorbs the eastern sun in the morning, heating the space in the coolest hours of the day. When the sun is setting, the entire structure radiates a yellow-orange spectrum off of the timber members. With a framed view of the Bay of Fundy, the design creates a sense of place unique to Ross Creek Centre for The Arts that its visitors will remember for a time to come.

Process

This project was completed in collaboration with Coastal Studio, a Dalhousie Architecture masters design studio led by professor Ted Cavanagh. The project was conceived of as a modular space that can change with the seasonally shifting needs of the camp. The design team experimented with 1:1 structural mockups to further understand the nature of the lamella structure, its fabrication, and assembly. The prototyping, computer modelling, and lamella fabrication took place in the fall of 2009 and construction began in the spring of 2010. Once the structure was completed, key lessons from the project were integrated into the curriculum at the Dalhousie University School of Architecture.