B+H Architects creates archival facility with double-concrete pores and skin in Quebec

Toronto-based studio B+H Architects has created an archival storage facility in Gatineau, Quebec, with a large double-layer concrete envelope and automatic retrieval methods.

Formally referred to as Library and Archives Canada Gatineau 2, the ability is positioned subsequent to an older constructing on the positioning and was constructed to protect historic and cultural gadgets “related to Canadians”.

The constructing consists of three flooring: a basement, a facility for employees and a large 35-metre-tall vault on the high of the construction.

B+H Structure has designed a monolithic archive in Quebec

The vault construction was constructed from precast concrete panels layered right into a double envelope so {that a} two-metre cavity exists between the layers.

This shell serves to supply insulation from potential exterior disruptions reminiscent of climate and steady humidity and temperature throughout the construction, which holds six vaults.

“It’s a like a rain display however on steroids,” B+H principal Mark Berest instructed Dezeen. “The precept is that the outer pores and skin is the primary line of defence towards onerous climate.”

Textured concrete facade
Gatineau 2 holds gadgets of cultural significance to Canada

In accordance with Berest, this excessive stage of insulation permits for the constructing to satisfy sustainability targets in-line with Canada’s Inexperienced Governing Technique, LACG2 – the primary federal constructing to take action.

“It’s a particularly low-energy use constructing as a result of to be able to preserve the environmental setpoints, we successfully used the huge double pores and skin,” he mentioned.

Gatineau 2 at night with lights
The highest of the construction consists of an archive sealed with a double-concrete envelope

He additionally famous that the ability takes benefit of the excessive stage of hydroelectric vitality obtainable in Quebec.

For the outside facade, the concrete has been textured to appear to be geological strata, which got here as a byproduct of the studio’s examine of the native water methods whereas growing the challenge.

Pink sky with Gatineau 2
The studio mentioned it has achieved web zero within the operational vitality of the construction

The facade detailing got here from the intensive website research finished to create a secure surroundings for the paperwork.

“It was a nod to the pure heritage whereas we had been largely involved with cultural heritage,” mentioned Berest.

White interior with archival faculty
The underside flooring are for employees use

Due to the necessity to hold the fragile merchandise dry in an space with a excessive water desk, the studio selected to have the vault up excessive and nearly no water enters it – even the fireplace suppressant system makes use of a dry agent.

A lot of the human interplay constructing comes on the two decrease ranges. From the outside, these are notated by a skinny layer of glazed services that just about appeared crushed down by the monumental concrete mass above.

HVAC systems
It has achieved a low stage of vitality use as a result of hydroelectric vitality provide and the insulation of the vault construction

A glass-covered walkway facilitates entrance between Gatineau 2 and the pre-existing constructing on the positioning, the Preservation Centre, which was inbuilt 1997.

Berest mentioned that sustaining the human expertise of the unique constructing was important, and Gatineau 2 is rotated 45 levels to attenuate blockage of the strains of sight from the unique buildings to the environment.

People will not often enter the vault – only some upkeep latters lead inside, that means that the inside of the vault is commonly shrouded in full darkness, including to the safety of the paperwork and the diminished vitality necessities of the constructing.

As a substitute, a complicated automated retrieval system has been put in. Referred to as Automated Storage and Retrieval System, the system makes use of robotic arms and lifts to ferry supplies down tubes to the employees services under.

There are related services within the US however that is by far the biggest on the planet,” mentioned Berest. 

Automatic Retrieval System in the archive
It utilises an automated retrieval system

B+H Architects was based in 1953. Different initiatives by the studio embody a deliberate youngsters’s hospital with a rooftop backyard in Shenzen.

The images is by Ema Peter.