Kelowna architect wins award for KF Centre for Excellence

Local architect wins award

A Kelowna architectural firm has won an award for its design of the new KF Centre for Excellence at YLW.

Meiklejohn Architects Inc. recently won the Sansin Sponsorship Award from the Canadian Wood Council for its work at the new Okanagan Aerospace and Aviation Museum in Kelowna.

The 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art mass timber building is made of wood, concrete and steel and includes two dedicated hangars showcasing a rare aircraft collection.

Jim Meiklejohn, company founder, tells Castanet winning the award, "feels really good."

The 39th annual Wood Design and Building Awards saw a record 181 nominations from 25 countries.

"This build at the airport is really the brainchild of Barry Lapointe, who's the founder of KF Aerospace," Meiklejohn said. "It was his vision to build this centre for excellence at the airport to kind of showcase not only KF Aerospace, but the importance of the industry to the valley. He really wanted it to look and feel like a plane. He wanted to remind anybody who visited that this was about planes. So that was key."

Meiklejohn says the increasing use of mass timber is an Okanagan success story.

"Using wood was baked into the project and then he (Lapointe) wanted to be as locally designed and sourced as possible. It's pretty local, not completely, but quite local," Meiklejohn said.

One of the world leaders is cross-laminated timber, a type of mass timber, is Structurlam in Okanagan Falls.

"It's sort of European inspired and Structurlam was the first manufacturer in North America to get on board, it's pretty cutting-edge stuff," Meiklejohn said.

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