Wood WORKS! Award Honours Innovative Design of Thunder Bay Carpenters Union Local 1669 Training Centre

A Thunder Bay company earned top honours at the recent 17th annual Wood WORKS! Awards celebration in Toronto, a program of the Canadian Wood Council.

FORM Architecture Engineering in Thunder Bay took home the Northern Ontario Award for its innovative use of a variety of wood products in the city's new Carpenters Union Local 1669 Training Centre.

The carpenters union wanted something that highlighted northwestern Ontario, and showcased the materials they use everyday on the job, said Matthew Mills, a partner with FORM and the lead designer on the project,

"Obviously, Thunder Bay, in the middle of the trees, you have to build out of wood," he said. The building incorporates pine, cedar and birch as well as natural timbers and glue-laminated structure.

"Wood has life to it, so it's got grain and colour and feel and smell and everything like that to it, so we try to use various material like that," said Mills.

"Every piece of wood is different, which is quite interesting compared to other materials. Concrete and steel tend to have that similar look and feel that doesn't vary very much. Wood has that inherent variance in it, which makes it just so beautiful and easy to work with."

This is the sixth Wood WORKS! award that FORM Architecture Engineering has received.

You can hear more from Matthew Mills on the training centre project here. He was interviewed for the CBC afternoon program Up North.