West Fraser Centre
West Fraser Centre
Quesnel’s West Fraser Centre is located in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. The project is an important catalyst for economic vibrancy in the city centre, and not only meets the community’s current ice programming needs, but also serves as a venue for live entertainment, trade shows, and community events.
As we often do when community consultation is important, the concept design was established through the use of an inclusive Design Charrette, in which community stakeholders, arena staff, councillors, and planning and engineering department professionals all contributed ideas and solutions over a period of three days. Together, we came up with a basic concept that withstood scrutiny and costing because it was a product that reflected the values and objectives of the community.
The upper level features 1,300 fixed seats with a capacity for about 1,500 people. The upper west plan includes concession, and a multi-purpose room with a “VIP” seating balcony. The south seating extends from the concourse to ice level, while north seating is perched upon the locker rooms below, creating the sense of a large seating capacity.
The concourse is used daily as a walking/jogging track on non-event nights. While the turning radii do not allow for a conventional running track, this amenity is popular in winter with seniors when snowfall and cold temperatures can inhibit the use of outdoor trails.
The arena ceiling was executed in wood to reflect the importance of the forestry industry to the community. A local public artist contributed a large mural that captures the essence of the regions outdoors. Other interior spaces are robust and executed with a colour palette that complements the exterior.
The exterior of the building is executed primarily with the use of insulated metal panels that perform well in an environment where temperatures can swing significantly between seasons. Concrete masonry is used at lower levels to add durability and help break the massing down to a more human scale. Natural lighting is brought into the arena concourse level and lobby space that identifies the facility as a public building.