More Than Good Looks

Structural design and building materials selection serve more than just a functional purpose. Besides achieving the goal of looking good, design and materials can convey a powerful message to building users and the public at large.

This month’s feature project provides stunning evidence that a building can be much more than just a building.

The Branscombe Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines, ON opened in June 2017. This modern design clearly conveys a state-of-the-art impression. This, in conjunction with the decision to utilize multiple exterior cladding materials, reinforces the contemporary quality. At the same time, the extensive use of Shouldice Estate Stone in the Frontenac colour provides a reassuring sense of strength, stability and confidence that almost no other building material can claim.

The rusty orange-brown of the entry facades and the narrow, horizontal mid-building surround offer the senses an appealing, sleek and smooth complement to the dominant Estate Stone presence.

The use of alternating shades of grey on the upper level is not only visually appealing but a clever way to provide relief and dimension to the repetitive window installations.

It is great to see how the purpose of a building can be translated and expressed in solid form by creative and imaginative architects, designers and builders. We at Shouldice are very happy to so frequently make a contribution to this process.