New City Hall and Civic Center
The new Wood Village City Hall is a 9,000-sf “living room,” according to the city, with a soaring 25-foot ceiling made of exposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) and heavy timber trusses. Framed by a large glass storefront system, the building entrance provides a clear sight line to the beautiful, exposed wood inside.
The building houses offices, open workspaces, kitchen, break areas, storage rooms, conference rooms, and event spaces, but the council chambers area is the highlight of the new building. With a nod to the community’s namesake and a desire for a timeless aesthetic, the city wanted to use as much wood as possible in their new home, with the focus on the council chambers.
To do this, IMEG created a roof framing design that consisted of three-ply CLT panels that act as the structural diaphragm and primary gravity support framing – an unconventional and creative solution to expose the structure and achieve the aesthetic while still meeting the building code. Because the design called for little wall space to support the open room, cantilevered steel columns laterally support the upper roof.
The building highlights the use of wood with exposed heavy timber glulam frames that are stacked to create the clear visual sight line through the open council chambers, creating a stunning view into the room and outside to the surrounding park area. These systems required careful coordination with the architect and owner to ensure all aspects of the design met their goals and desires.
In addition to the challenging lateral system in the center portion of the building – which was achieved with the cantilevered steel columns – the design team addressed the following challenges with innovative solutions:
- The large amount of glass at the building’s entrance required a network of steel framing to achieve the look of a glass storefront
- The shape and size of the connections of the timber frames and their exposed elements required a balance of architectural input and structural design to create an aesthetically pleasing and structurally efficient system
- The open council chambers required the middle glulam truss to span 32 feet over the council chamber space to achieve the continuity of the stacked frame design
- CLT was used as a diaphragm throughout the entire building instead of plywood to efficiently maintain the aesthetic
- Clerestory windows required coordination with the architect to design around them
The result is a beautiful and inviting wood building where community members and staff can feel at home.