In the Fall of 2015, Apex Structural Design, Ltd. was contracted to handle detailing for the Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Although the overall structural weight of 250 tonnes is not considered a large project by our standards, the complex geometry and connections in the building made it time consuming to detail successfully. The primary structure bears on a very small footprint and 4 large exposed columns supporting a 9-meter cantilever at the Northeast corner. Long cantilevers complex geometry, multiple levels and headroom clearance issues resulted in large members and complex structural connections. Due to sizing in the project, some of the beams had to be ordered over 3 months ahead of time and required early input from detailing and connection design to determine final lengths. Over 70% of the connections in the project are skewed and detailing of the project required over 1300 shop drawings with multiple paint systems.
Apex's scope of work for the project included anchor bolts, embedded metals, stairs, handrails, ladders and all structural steel framing. The new Gallery’s 19,000 sq. ft. includes expanded space for galleries, preparation work area, and event and lecture space. With this additional space, Presentation House Gallery will be able to greatly increase the range of cultural opportunities it offers residents and visitors.
Vancouver has become renowned as an international art centre, and Presentation House Gallery is a key part of that reputation. Cultural tourism is a fast-growing and lucrative segment of the North American travel industry, spurred by the retiring baby boomer generation. In British Columbia, spending by cultural tourists in 2007 totalled $755 million. An expert evaluation of the new Gallery facility estimated attendance in the first year will be 33,000 visitors, many of whom would be tourists drawn to the newly revitalized Lower Lonsdale area by the new Gallery and nearby restaurants and shopping.