Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Awards of Excellence — 2015 Recipient

Wood Innovation Design Centre (WIDC)
Prince George
Award Category: 
Awards of Excellence
Innovation in Architecture

MGA | Michael Green Architecture

As the first tall wood building in Canada built beyond current building codes, WIDC is a demonstration project for the future of building in wood.

The eight-storey building (six storeys plus mezzanine and penthouse) stands 29.5 metres tall, making it North America’s tallest contemporary timber building.

To prove that all life safety requirements could be met, the project team conducted extensive mock-ups, testing, and detailed studies.

MGA sought to demonstrate economical, repeatable technologies for building high-rise structures with timber, hoping to inspire institutions, private sector developers, and other architects and engineers to embrace this way of building.

The firm argues that building with wood sourced from sustainably managed forests offers designers a rapidly renewable, low energy, and carbon-sequestering alternative to conventional building materials. Greater use of timber for large structures would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Jury Comment(s): 

A three-member jury called the projects “extraordinary examples of true innovation… innovation that is significant, repeatable and applicable to the profession.”

They “demonstrate processes of innovation that are founded on patience and discipline,” the jury said.

“The projects reflect a focus on continual research, investigation and development by two firms with long histories of significant works,” the jury members added. “It is inspirational work that is intended to share.”

Click for full version: 
Diagram of floor assembly at curtain wall

Image: MGA

View of curtain wall and cedar cladding

Photo: MGA

Building view from southeast

Photo: Ema Peter

Detail of entry and demonstration area

Photo: Ema Peter

Building View from east

Photo: Ema Peter

Detail of southeast corner and demonstration area

Photo: Ema Peter

Demonstration space and feature stair

Photo: Ema Peter

Lecture theatre interior

Photo: Ema Peter