Atrium 800 Yates — Victoria, BC
Western Hemlock with Clear Finish
The Atrium, a 10,000 square foot wood wave wall grille, is a perfect example of a successful design under an extremely demanding schedule.
The wood grilles form the walls of a large, 7-story central atrium in an innovative office building in British Columbia. The architect summarized the space well: “The atrium is the heart of the building. It’s a semi-public urban ‘room’. We chose wood to give it a sense of welcome that would be perceptible from the street.”
The wall grilles are the most visually striking aspect of the atrium. The grilles are comprised of 5/8” x 1” western hemlock members. The relatively tight 3/8” reveal between members emphasizes the wood, while still allowing the grilles to curve to match the atrium’s undulating shape. The reveals between members also create a high noise transfer coefficient, which allows for acoustic material set behind the grille to control the acoustics of the vast open space. “The grilles are part of the acoustic strategy. We worked with an acoustical engineer to design those walls,” added the architect.
What is truly remarkable about the project is the speed with which it was accomplished: From submittals to full install in less than 4 months. The many challenges to overcome included specially designing a flexible metal backer for the grille, procuring the wood in only two weeks, and manufacturing each panel for a precise fit to save time on field-cutting. A last-minute fire code problem meant shaving the grille members down to 1” depth from 1 3/8”, necessitating the design of a special fastener that wouldn’t split the wood.
This level of precision, combined with a highly skilled installer and a well-designed product produced fantastic results. As one of the project managers for the installer recalled, “The product was amazing. It’s got to be the best project I’ve ever worked on.” This was made possible by good coordination and flexibility on the part of the supply chain, the designer, the manufacturer, and the installer. The result is an exciting and beautiful new building.
Create graceful curves that meet your specifications with this flexible version of our grille system.
Because of the tight schedule of the project, the finish work for the atrium was entirely completed in only eight weeks, including the assembly and dismantling of scaffolding.Download Case Study