Ready. Set. Go. The Formula 1 Grand Prix Paddocks in Montreal, Quebec, received a new more permanent home made with FSC certified cross laminated timber.
The need for speed
As part of a renewal agreement for the Canadian Grand Prix, the City of Montreal committed to replacing the temporary structures used for the Formula 1 race with a permanent building that would accommodate the needs of the event.
The new paddock would need to include garages for the racing teams, office space, rooms for the race sponsor, lounge space for 5,000 people, and a media center for journalists and broadcasters all within a short 10 month period and a budget of $60 million CAD.
An innovative open-air lounge area design approach resulted in a sustainable solution omitting the need for HVAC systems, utilizing natural ventilation, bringing spectators closer to the sights and sounds of the adjacent raceway.
Matching the paddocks to their surroundings
Architectural and construction team were able to deliver an imposing 300 meters long building, with impressive roof canopy on diagonally-placed glulam beams forming colossal gridwork.
Designed by Les Architects FABG, the multi-purpose facility roof structure incorporates FSC-certified cross-laminated (CLT) timber, glued-laminated beams and CLT decking supplied by Nordic Structures.
“We wanted to create a modern building that meshes perfectly with Parc Jean-Drapeau’s natural environment while making sure it meets the technical and technological criteria related to the requirements of Formula 1,” said architect Eric Gauthier, a partner in FABG.
The idea to incorporate wood in the roof structure came as a turnkey solution, as the glued-laminated and cross-laminated beams are light, require easy assembly and little specialized equipment.
The roof canopy is prefabricated using CLT wood beams and panels, with life-cycle analysis in mind. In case that the racing event is ever terminated, the entire structure could be dismantled and the material reused.
The building won the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in December 2018. The magazine cited the building’s modern look, use of eco-responsible materials including the wood structure, and its seamless integration into the natural setting of the park.
Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau