The Gulf Canada Square Food Court was beginning to show its age and its food service tenants were concerned that they might be losing business to other fast-food venues in Calgary’s busy downtown business district.
Owners of the Gulf Canada Square building, which is connected directly to the city’s elevated Plus 15 walkway, decided it was time for an update and commissioned Stantec to come up with a plan for refreshing the space that would work with the existing seating configuration.
The original drywall ceiling needed to be removed and replaced with an element that was more dynamic. “We needed to find a solution that would be visually exciting and be easily removed to service the equipment in the plenum,” says lead architect Craig Ainsworth.
The solution was a custom WoodWorks Access ceiling system from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions that radiates out in a sunburst design. “The space lent itself to an oval shape,” says Ainsworth, “so we just played off that shape and the placement of the existing structural columns to develop this large, oval-shaped wood ceiling with lines radiating out from the center.”
The 3,400-square-foot ceiling is made up of 234 uniquely-shaped wood panels that created the oval-shaped design. The panels get gradually smaller as they approach the center,” says Ainsworth. “No panel was the same size or shape. It was very complex.”
The wood panels feature a dark cherry finish and the grain pattern on each individual panel was customized to flow outward from the center of the ceiling. With a consistent reveal between each of the panels, the design team was able to incorporate a new energy-efficient lighting layout and take advantage of the acoustical properties of the new ceiling. “Because the sound could now go up into the plenum space above, we were able to take advantage of the acoustic treatment on the back of the panels,” he says.
The panels are suspended from a drywall grid system that was painted black to obscure the equipment in the plenum. “Everything else behind the ceiling disappears,” says Ainsworth, “so that these wood panels become the predominant plane of the ceiling.”