Buildings: Small Ingenuities By Fast + Epp
In their studio on the second floor of a small building facing onto West 1st Avenue in Vancouver, structural engineers Fast + Epp have completed the most recent in a series of renovations. The firm of...
In their studio on the second floor of a small building facing onto West 1st Avenue in Vancouver, structural engineers Fast + Epp have completed the most recent in a series of renovations. The firm of 25 employees is known for its creativity with detailing and materials. In some ways, these engineers take an approach more like craftsmen and apply it on a large scale.
Led by partners Paul Fast and Gerald Epp, the team has won many awards for helping architects to realize such expressive structures as the Brentwood Skytrain Station in Vancouver and the recently opened Richmond Speedskating Oval.
In their own offices Fast + Epp have taken advantage of the opportunity to showcase their talents to visiting clients and architects.
The basic building was constructed in 1989 and was once occupied by famed architect Arthur Erickson. Fast + Epp were the building’s original structural engineers and now occupy the entire second floor. The street front of the 50 ft. x 100 ft. building is entirely glass, and a huge skylight 35 ft. x 6 ft. brings light into the interior.
It’s clear Fast + Epp have enjoyed themselves in designing and overseeing the fabrication of small details that create points of interest in the public areas of the reception and conference room. As Fast explains, “We often get cast as being specialists in wood, but you see in our office there is wood, there is cable, there are steel beams, rods and posts, there are concrete louvres. We’re trying to innovate in all materials and express what’s happening structurally.”
“We get involved in a lot of projects where the architectural structure is exposed,” Fast continues. “And so we wanted to enhance the ambience of the office, and just express in a sensible structural solution what is aesthetically pleasing, as well as efficient and economical.” — BP