Open for class at NW Community College Smithers campus

Smithers Interior News reported that their CEI Architecture-designed expansion and renovation of the Smithers Campus of Northwest Community College is open for classes.

Says the article:

“Now the campus is wheelchair accessible, with expanded learning facilities and improved video conferencing. There are also new labs and shops for trades programs.”

The new facility will not only increase the capacity and functionality of the Smithers campus, but provides the greater community with a place to come together. Special focus was placed on designing a welcoming entrance area, which is a two-storey space. The new two-storey addition is designed around a galleria space that brings natural light into the interior of the building and aids natural ventilation through its location.

Flexibility was an essential design objective, to allow Northwest Community College to evolve and adapt its program needs over time. The space includes a flexible workshop, capacity to accommodate moving transportable classrooms, and a host of advanced post-secondary learning spaces.

The LEED Gold design is tailored to the context and climate of the region, with a host of sustainable features that will help the contemporary facility function in all seasons. The design includes significant use of heavy timber, supporting the Government of B.C.’s Wood-First initiative.



Robert Parlane presents at TEDx Conference

Robert Parlane, Senior Project Manager for the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence, was one of many interesting presenters at the TEDx Okanagan College conference held on June 25 in Penticton.

The theme of the conference was “Beyond Sustainability.” The event has been covered by many media outlets, including Daybreak on CBC Radio Kelowna.

Robert’s presentation, ‘Agent of Change’ was about the many sustainable features of Okanagan College. For information about the event, visit


Okanagan College Centre of Excellence



Classes in session at Okanagan College

The Okanagan College Centre of Excellence is open for learning!

Students began their first classes and shops on June 6, 2011. Designed to be one of the most innovative and sustainable post-secondary facilities in the world, the Centre will train the next generation of tradespeople in cutting-edge, sustainable building practices.

Read More



Robert H. N. Ho Research Centre in Award magazine

The Robert H. N. Ho Research Centre was featured this month in Award Magazine.

The seven-storey, 70,000-square-foot facility is on the campus of Vancouver General Hospital, and will support the research of hundreds of scientists and clinicians from the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, OvCare and the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

The article includes quotes from CEI partner in charge Bill Locking, associate architects MCMP Architects, and our client on the project:

“Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute executive director Robert McMaster notes, “While the final interior design remains more or less the same as the initial design that was proposed in 2005, the exterior is totally different. However, the finished product is spectacular on an esthetic and functional level.”



Skating at Chuck Bailey Youth Park

The Chuck Bailey Youth Park has opened!

The park features Canada’s first purpose-built covered outdoor skate plaza and bowl complex. CEI designed the roof structure for the skate park, and the entire development was led by Newline Skateparks, a world leader in designing skateable environments.

Located right beside the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, also designed by CEI, the park is close to 30,000 square feet, including a 6,500 square foot sport court, local art installations and over 5,000 square feet of world-class skateable space.

Check out the video above, posted to YouTube by Dennis Vevoda, to see the park in action.




Visuals of Vernon Library released

The Vernon Library recently revealed its plans for their new library, designed by CEI Architecture, along with new interior renderings.

CEI’s signature design charrette in October 2010 created a building design that addresses the needs and desires of library stakeholders, including the Okanagan Regional Library team, library users, a variety of community groups and representatives from the City of Vernon.

The Vernon Library will be a landmark building—a source of civic pride that reflects Vernon’s unique community character. Local materials will be used as much as possible to create a warm and welcoming space in the new Vernon branch.

For more on the coverage of the library plans, see AM 1150 and the Vernon Morning Star.



Cloverdale Recreation Centre Grand Opening

The Cloverdale Recreation Centre celebrated its grand opening on May 7. The building is the first major step in the City of Surrey’s master plan for the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. The event was well attended by the community, and featured dancing, musical performances and a whole lot of fun. The design of the recreation centre represents a significant statement about the renewal of the important Cloverdale site through sophisticated architecture and urban design.

“CEI has done a number of projects for the City of Surrey but with this project in particular we wanted to make a real announcement about the Fairgrounds and the design direction of the entire project,” says Mark Hentze, CEI’s Partner in Charge on the project.

“We were able to use expressive but economical wood forms to complete a very complex, high impact building.”

Fundamental to the design was the use of uniform curved wooden trusses. Varying their orientation allowed the interior spaces to achieve heights needed to meet programmatic objectives and contribute to a fluid, evocative architectural expression. As one citizen said during the initial public consultation, the facility needed to address “the exuberance of youth and the mobility of seniors.”