Vancouver structural engineers cause a stir in Trafalgar Square
June 23, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
The work of Vancouver structural engineering firm Fast + Epp is being featured in an extraordinary exhibit on "Vanc...
The work of Vancouver structural engineering firm Fast + Epp is being featured in an extraordinary exhibit on “Vancouverism” that opened in the heart of London, U.K. on June 23.
Shown at Canada House, the exhibit is part of the 2008 London Festival of Architecture. It shows Fast + Epp’s work with architects such as the acclaimed Vancouver architects Arthur Erickson, Bing Thom, and James K.M. Cheng.
Fast + Epp are featured as “innovative engineers who are recognized as global leaders in applications of sustainably-harvested engineered wood.”
The exhibit includes a dramatic installation that is bound to catch the attention of hordes of tourists in the heart of London. The corner of Canada House facing Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery of Great Britain is temporarily wrapped with an undulating 200′ long, 27′ high wooden wall. The heart of the wall consists of blocks of B.C. Western Red Cedar, shaped to fit snugly at a range of angles. The cables were pre-tensioned to make them more rigid, then carefully stacked in rows, one on top of the other and pinned together vertically to ensure stability. The construction was conceived by Bing Thom, with Gerald Epp as structural engineer and using cut wood blocks that are made by Epp’s company StructureCraft.
Entitled “Vancourism: Westcoast Architecture + City-Building,” the exhibit is on until July 20th. It is produced by Trevor Boddy and presented by the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery of the University of B.C., hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade through the Canadian High Commission in London.