We must have an open mind when it comes to using wood in aquatic buildings; we try to use wood as much as we can, but it must also make sense. It doesn’t mean wood, steel and concrete must be winners or losers; we shouldn’t look at construction materials in this way. With the Hillcrest project, we used the right combination of wood and steel. Wood is well-suited to a pool environment, so it was a good choice.
British Columbia has a history of constructing community recreation centres and aquatic facilities using wood. The Hillcrest Centre furthers that tradition, proving that wood can continue to perform in a pool environment for decades while giving visitors a beautiful and inspiring space to gather.
Curved Douglas-fir glulam roof beams, 43 metres long and typically spaced at 3.6 metres, are set atop a v-shaped structural steel support mid-span and glulam columns at the walls. The mid-span support reduced the required depth of the roof beams, and helps define activity areas within the big space, separating the lap pool from the leisure pool. The rhythmic spacing of the roof is adjusted by a pair of glulam beams at every 12.73 metres spaced at 1.93 metres to form a mechanical ventilation duct.