Calgary Central Library

High-performance studio microphones built in the UK


We have a close relationship with industry-leading Canadian timber engineers and construction specialists StructureCraft, and have collaborated with them on many projects.

We worked with them on Snohetta's New Central Library for Calgary, specifically on the realisation of the expansive 22,000sqft timber soffit that forms the centerpiece of the project.

Computational design

As described by StructureCraft:
Computational design was critical in enabling 3D geometry creation, structural analysis, CNC milling data and fabrication drawings for this project. Custom algorithms were written to randomise the position of the batten joints across the soffit, while respecting fabrication constraints such as the maximum overlap between panels.
A parametric 3D modeling approach allowed rule sets for the prefabricated panels and battens to be established and then automatically produce 3D models and fabrication information for each of the 170 panels.

Advanced workflow

Computational design enabled a vertically integrated approach on this project - linking design, engineering and fabrication information. As the overall geometry of the surface changed throughout the design, both structural analysis models and fabrication information were automatically updated.

This project is a great example of how computational design can deliver large-scale complex projects at incredibly high quality and maximise CNC manufacturing and pre-fab construction methods, even with an evolving design.

The beauty of timber

The soffit was made from beautiful, individually curved Western Red Cedar battens. This creates a warm and inviting space at the heart of the project. You can read more about StructureCraft and their projects here.

Architect: Snohetta/ Dialog
Timber Engineers & Construction: StructureCraft
Engineers: Entuitive
Location: Calgary, Canada