Cross-Laminated Timber and Local Forest Products Featured in Remodeling of Quebec’s Chibougamau-Chapais Airport

Quebec’s Chibougamau-Chapais regional airport is a multi-use facility that serves air travelers, freight, medivac, and even forest wildfire fighting operations. Considering all of the functions, a new airport project needed to not only meet the latest renewable energy standards but also remain functional during the construction process.

The new building consists of two low structures on either side of a glazed, single-pitch roof concourse. Its exterior façade features the airport’s name in Cree and French. Additionally, the façade features artwork by Emmanuelle Gendron integrated into the transparency of the timber curtain walls.

The terminal highlights its proximity to the boreal forest by using locally produced wood and high-performance products such as glulam and CLT structural slabs. Timber curtain walls surround the waiting area on three sides. Meanwhile, a raised roof tops the space to create a south-facing clerestory.

Engineered wood and steel components make up the roof structure. The mixed structural system allows for large interior spaces for public use. The system also allows for a reduced roof thickness to reduce material waste while shading the interior with generous overhangs. The curtain walls let in natural light and help with energy efficiency, while also contributing to structural bracing. The clerestory acts as a load-bearing axis, which removes the need for a structural beam.

As the architects explained in a press release, “This minimalist, highly efficient approach underlines the project’s core design principles: transparency, lightness, comfort, and functionality.”

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