Located in the gorgeous Bow River Valley in Banff National Park, The Kinnear Centre is a shining example of how modern design, and classic materials can create a stunning facility.
The Banff Centre was founded in 1933, and is the largest arts and creativity center on the planet. It consists of several different facilities all centrally located around The Kinnear Centre. Also known as the “heart of the campus” this building was developed to be a learning and meeting center for the arts. Since it opened in 2010 The Kinnear Centre has hosted a wide array of programs and conferences. Whether it be the arts, studying, or exhibits, this building has it all.
Jack Diamond was the architect that led this project. He wanted to develop an idea that would bring together a functional and charming presence. He opted for Ipe to add accents to bring the warmth and beauty to this mountain side environment.
Building a facility made entirely of glass and steel would not look as picturesque as a building that has incorporated organic elements to blend in with its natural environment. With all of those open windows, something needed to be created that would block some of the direct sunlight, while still allowing amazing views of the landscape. Sun-breakers were made out of Ipe and were installed at an angle to provide shade, but not disrupt the views.
The Banff National Park has a subarctic climate. What this means is, it’s extremely cold for the majority of the year, and when it does warm up, it’s usually pretty mild. This area receives 18.6 inches of precipitation annually, and up to 92.2 inches of snow a year! All of this snow and moisture has to go somewhere, but it’s not going to damage the Ipe!
This is another reason why Ipe was chosen, because of its durability and dependability. Ipe has an extremely tight grain that keeps moisture from entering the board. This resistance from water penetration keeps moisture from freezing inside the board, so cracking and splitting isn’t even a concern.
This exotic hardwood is known for its reliability, resistance to water intrusion and termite attacks. So think about it, if Ipe can survive for year in a subarctic climate, then there is no reason to doubt it wont perform in your own personal application.