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. These were important considerations for this northern city, situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, which is prone to cold, harsh winters.
The airport’s primary structure combines tight-fit stainless-steel connections with elliptically shaped Douglas-fir glue-laminated timber 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. An 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 travelers.