The Vancouver architect is famous for "tall wood" but still has a knack for little good wood buildings too.
Almost every building we have seen lately from Michael Green of MGA has been Tall Wood or Big Wood. Lately he has been in the news for becoming part of Disruptive Wood, selling out to Katerra. But he is still an architect capable of doing Small Wood, like this lovely little dock building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. According to the press release:
“Delivering thoughtful, elegant architectural design is always possible regardless of budget,” said Michael Green, CEO and President of MGA. “This is what we set out to do when designing the Dock Building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.”
The building contains washrooms, showers, offices and workshops. According to the MGA site,
The project’s practical working needs, very modest budget, and prominent siting required a simple solution that honoured the cannery and industrial heritage of waterfront buildings that were once found on the site a half-century before. The design demonstrates that all projects from working industrial buildings to boutique museums can and should be realized with grace and architectural dignity.
This TreeHugger has been in a lot of boathouses and dock buildings, and they are usually pretty dark and dank. But the translucent polycarbonate wall " brings light into the workshop spaces and glows along the beach at night."
The structure is a mix of glulam posts and beams with light timber infill decking and walls. The interior is predominantly construction-grade plywood, providing a tough, easily replaceable interior finish.
Usually if you see "Royal" before the name of a yacht club, it is a pretty fancy and exclusive place. But Michael Green evidently still had to watch his pennies here, because almost half the budget went underground into piles and foundations. So above grade, "the details are modest and practical to work with the limited project budget."
But this is when you learn whether an architect is really good or not- if they can make something so simple look elegant and expensive. Tall Wood is one thing, but Small Wood is tough, too.