Dining Hall at Ross Creek
The lamella dining hall at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is a theatrical and dramatic space that sits lightly on the landscape and fits into the context of a children’s performing arts camp. The inherent qualities of the wood used on the project gives the interior space a natural beauty and warmth, while the polycarbonate cladding glows with the colours of the surrounding sky. As the sun moves throughout the day, the building transforms. The slate floor absorbs the eastern sun in the morning, heating the space in the coolest hours of the day. When the sun is setting, the entire structure radiates a yellow-orange spectrum off of the timber members. With a framed view of the Bay of Fundy, the design creates a sense of place unique to Ross Creek Centre for The Arts that its visitors will remember for a time to come.
This project was completed in collaboration with Coastal Studio, a Dalhousie Architecture masters design studio led by professor Ted Cavanagh. The project was conceived of as a modular space that can change with the seasonally shifting needs of the camp. The design team experimented with 1:1 structural mockups to further understand the nature of the lamella structure, its fabrication, and assembly. The structure is essentially an arch that is formed by a system of intersecting helixes, where one of the ‘strands’ of the helix cuts the arch form at a constant angle, which is fastened by a bolt at a 90 degree angle at each node. The end result is a timber structure that spans a large distance using short members. The prototyping, computer modelling, and lamella fabrication took place in the fall of 2009 and construction began in the spring of 2010. Once the structure was completed, key lessons from the project were integrated into the curriculum at the Dalhousie University School of Architecture.

Location: Ross Creek, Nova Scotia
Collaborators: Ted Cavanagh, Sam Lock, Clayton Blackman, Coastal Studio
Area: 1,368sq.ft.
Completed: 2010
 
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