Building of the Month – West Fraser Centre & Quesnel Arena

Photo courtesy of VVI Construction Ltd

West Fraser Centre & Quesnel Arena

Project Overview

With forestry being a central component of Quesnel’s economy, it was natural for community leaders to further the area’s culture of wood by featuring it as a key structural and finishing component of their new arena. The two-storey facility is a focal point for the community and will also serve as a venue for live entertainment, trade shows and community events. Wood for the slat ceiling assembly came from the local mills around Quesnel, and installation kept an on-site crew of six workers busy for roughly eight weeks.

Photo courtesy of VVI Construction Ltd.

Wood Use

The structure was framed by Douglas fir glulam beams and columns, left exposed to the interior. Glulam was also used to build a dramatic 30-foot high wall using a double lattice of beams to frame the windows. The lattice, which hangs down three stories, is suspended from the sixth floor. Locally-produced CLT panels were used for all major shear elements of the building, including floor and roof structures, balcony separation walls, and the vertical walls which separate the exterior decks. CLT was also used to frame the stairwells and stairs, giving the owner a cost-effective way of achieving a unique architectural finish across a broad area.

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Given Quesnel’s strong links to forestry and the wood industry, it was important for our community to incorporate wood. The wood ceiling provides an aesthetically appealing environment while also serving important functional purposes, concealing mechanical infrastructure and improving the building’s acoustic performance.

Jeff Norburn, Director of Community Services, City of Quesnel