For more than 30 years, the original Cowichan Lake Sports Arena was a valuable community resource, hosting hockey, figure skating and other community events. When the time came to revitalize the facility, the Cowichan Valley Regional District conducted a community consultation process to set priorities for upgrading and expanding the facility. What emerged was a desire to create a range of new spaces in the arena, including warm-viewing areas and large multi-purpose rooms, using a contemporary aesthetic that would also reflect the history and heritage of the region. Wood is a prominent feature in the 1200-square metre addition. The design team maintained the contemporary wood aesthetic throughout the building in the selection of finishes and detailing to provide warmth and desirable acoustic qualities.
Community leaders and the design team shared a vision that this facility should have a ‘wood focus’. By featuring wood products that were regionally sourced and manufactured, the project would maximize the environmental and economic benefits to the region. An inspiring level of community involvement helped plan and secure material contributions. Local logging companies and distributors donated the equivalent of 15 truckloads of wood products.
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