Ontario Wood Works! 2017 Wood Design Award winner: McEwen School of Architecture, Sudbury

Located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada’s first new architecture school in 40 years draws inspiration from the architectural traditions of northern Ontario’s Anglophone, Francophone and Indigenous communities.

Combining two century-old heritage buildings, Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture demonstrates the properties of wood, steel and masonry construction, illustrating to students the structural potential and aesthetic qualities of each.

McEwen’s new Library Wing is entirely a mass timber construction, made of BIM-modelled, prefab Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. One of wood’s great advantages is that it is the only structural building material that, in a cold climate, can move seamlessly between the warm interior and the cold exterior without thermal bridging.

The CLT was pre-engineered by the consultants using an integrated BIM modelling process. This BIM model was shared with the fabricator to commence manufacturing the components. These were designed and fabricated to fit together like a kit of parts. The prefabricated CLT panels also mitigated the northern Ontario construction challenges of a short building season, a small labour pool of skilled local trades and high transportation costs. Delivered to the site numbered and ready to install, the panels required no additional onsite work. Structure and enclosure were completed in only two weeks.

McEwen School of Architecture is one of the 12 winners of the Ontario Wood WORKS! 2017 Wood Design Award. The awards programme honours people and organisations that are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. 

AWARD CATEGORY: Large Institutions

TEXT AND IMAGES: Ontario Wood WORKS! program

ARCHITECT: LGA Architectural Partners