Built in 2000, this precedent-setting design was one of the first major civic buildings in the province to prominently feature a wood and heavy-timber structure as its defining architectural statement. As the civic hub for the City of Richmond—the municipality immediately south of Vancouver, in the Fraser River delta—the building comprises a ninestorey office tower and a two-storey “meeting house” and is flanked by a landscaped plaza and gardens. The design embodies the city’s desire to reinforce its identity as a major urban centre, while reflecting the architectural character of the West Coast.
The base of the tower includes counters for all the departments commonly accessed by the public, and a soaring galleria that extends out to greet visitors arriving from No. 3 Road. The galleria structure is a series of Douglas-fir glue-laminated timber portal frames with heavy-timber decking. Expansive north-facing glazing floods the double height space with glare-free natural light, enhancing the warm tones of the wood.