Prince George Airport Expansion

Location

Prince George, BC

Size

1,542 square metres

Completion

2005

Architect

Michael Green, Project Principal

Steve McFarlane, Co-principal

project by Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design

Structural Engineer

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.

Species

Douglas-fir

bigleaf maple

Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)

Plywood

Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Low rise

Post + beam

Prefabricated

With its wide-ranging use of different wood species, the Prince George Airport demonstrates how a high-traffic building can benefit from the resilience, versatility, durability, and thermal characteristics of wood.
  • A linear concourse connects and unifies the old and new parts of the building.
  • BC’s first computer numerical control (CNC) machine fabricated the airport’s structural wood including glue-laminated (glulam) columns machined to an elliptical cross-section.
  • Interior use of wood creates a calming environment for busy travellers.

The airport’s primary structure combines tight-fit stainless-steel connections with elliptically shaped Douglas-fir glue-laminated (glulam) columns, while repeating Douglas-fir ceiling planks provide warmth, and a serene sense of rhythm, throughout the building interior.

Inside, panelized maple plywood, “birch box” seating, and maple benches offer moments of calm for passengers in the departure lounge. Abundant use of natural light, unusual for a building of this type, enhances the wood’s warmth.

Against the backdrop of ample glazing, careful detailing neatly tucks away wood-to-metal column connections to accommodate expansive views out to the runways and natural landscape. Overall, the use of exposed wood and earth tones offers a contemporary, tranquil aesthetic for busy travellers.

Modern design captures the essence of the northern region

The two-phase expansion modernized the terminal with the construction of domestic departure and arrival lounges, new security areas and baggage handling facilities for both domestic and international flights, and an international arrival lounge complete with customs offices.

The largest city in northern BC, Prince George has been a centre for forestry for more than a century. It has been successfully broadening its economy with the establishment of the University of Northern British Columbia and with the growth of wilderness tourism, which attracts visitors from around the world. As the most important gateway to the city, the new airport has successfully redefined the city’s image. The elegance and economy of expression celebrate the precision of contemporary craftsmanship and increased emphasis on value-added, engineered wood products and environmental stewardship.