Vancouver, BC –September 22nd, 2010 – The new Chilliwack Cultural Centre has set a Canadian construction record for the use of concrete tilt-up panels. The Centre, which has a total building area of 65,000 sq.ft., features a spectacular flytower, which houses rigging, curtains and backdrops for the stage. The flytower, which is inspired by the iconic Mount Cheam, is built of 25 tilt-up concrete panels, 82 ft high, each weighing an average of 100,000 lbs (45 tonnes). These are the tallest panels of this type ever erected in Canada. Assembled in a single day, the panels are welded onto the steel structure of the building. This facility has been completed in less than two years, on budget and ahead of schedule. The use of tilt-up panels helped to expedite the construction schedule and provide substantial cost savings.
Centrally located on city-owned land and adjacent to existing sports and recreation facilities, this facility achieves its energy use targets of 25 percent below MNECB, (Model National Energy Code of Canada), regulations. The Centre also includes energy efficient interior and exterior lighting, low off-gassing interior finish materials and low flow water fixtures.
The Chilliwack Cultural Centre is designed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., (Kasian), in conjunction with Bird Construction Company. The project consultants include Brown Strachan Associates (Acoustical Engineers); Weiler Smith Bowers (Consulting Structural Engineers); Cobalt Engineering (Mechanical Consultant); Genivar (Electrical Consultant); Douglas Welch Design Associates Ltd (Theatre Consultant). The Centre supports a range of cultural activities with a strong focus on the visual and performing arts. Key design features include:
• A 540 seat main performance theatre, emphasising good acoustics, audience comfort and performance support. Operable absorptive banners and drapes create an acoustical environment that effectively supports a number of different uses including drama, concerts and choir recitals. High level curved acoustic panels help to reach the audience with reflected sound
• A purpose-built community art gallery will highlight the work of local artists. The gallery includes a 22 ft. high display area and additional space for free-standing 3-dimensional pieces
• An open, transparent, double-height entrance lobby has a flow-through nature, reflecting the course of the nearby Fraser River. This dramatic lobby contrasts with the intimate nature of the main performance theatre
• The entrances to the facility are framed with large and dramatic wooden glulam canopies to create a West Coast feel. The entrances link to the sidewalks immediately outside the building.
The Centre is home to the Chilliwack Academy of Music and the Chilliwack Community Arts Council and also includes a 150 seat studio theatre, recital hall, music rooms, arts and craft studios, administrative offices and storage and archival areas. The design team collaborated closely with the council-appointed Cultural Centre Advisory Planning Committee, representing a broad cross-section of community arts and culture groups in Chilliwack. Kasian Principal Michael McDonald is the Director of Design for the Chilliwack Cultural Centre: “This innovative facility is all about community-building, with an open-plan concept that focuses on bringing people together. The design team is confident that this wonderful Centre will enrich the lives of local residents for generations to come.”
A spectacular Red Carpet Affair gala opening will be held at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Saturday, September 25th. Michael Cade is the Executive Director of the Centre: “We are thrilled to be able to bring a wealth of artistic experiences to Chilliwack in what is truly a world-class facility.”
Kasian is one of the top 100 architecture, interior design and planning firms in the world. Over the past 25 years we have earned global recognition for our collaborative approach to design. Our goal is to harness the collective expertise and imagination of our international team of professionals to answer the complex questions asked by our clients. The result is award-winning spaces and sustainable environments for people everywhere. Kasian has considerable expertise is the construction of design-build and fixed-price projects.