An impressive mass timber design—the largest commercial building of its kind in North America—gives a Québec furniture and appliance retailer’s customers a unique and inviting shopping experience. The sleek and modern 80,000 square-foot-complex (7,430m2) glows like a giant jewel box at dusk, as generous glazing showcases its bold use of wood inside.
Serving customers in Trois-Rivières, Québec and surrounding area, Ameublements Tanguay’s new retail complex includes an impressive 5,600 m2 (60278 ft2) bisected retail space accommodates two showrooms (furniture and appliances). Additional space includes warehouse, employee amenities and offices along with special shipping and receiving entrances.
Ameublements Tanguay, a leading Québec furniture and appliance retailer, has set itself apart with the construction of this massive store and showroom, comprised of a robust glued-laminated timber (glulam) post-and-beam design . Upon entry, customers are greeted by a double-height timber framed atrium. Glulam decking forms the expansive ceiling while cedar soffit gives the interior and exterior structures visual continuity. The exceptionally long-spanning 50-foot beams (15 metres) provide the customer with uninterrupted views of merchandise and facilitate wayfinding.
Elegant V-shaped glulam columns serve double-duty, bearing load while providing architectural interest against the otherwise expansive glass curtainwall. Despite its large size, the ample use of exposed structural wood, combined with the building’s volumetric variations, creates a warm, inviting interior, further punctuated by different floor heights that form merchandising zones. With the mass timber structure left exposed, mechanical services are neatly tucked away and concealed thanks to careful detailing along with unique geometric elements suspended from the ceiling, their shape suggestive of a snowflake. Careful attention to detailing means metal connections between beams and columns remain inconspicuous. This minimalist approach highlights the beauty of the wood throughout.
Along with its aesthetic appeal and carbon-locking benefits, this mass timber building reflects the 55-year-old company’s commitment to social, economic and environmental values. Quebec communities rely on the forest industry for their livelihood, and the abundant use of locally-sourced wood products is a significant gesture of support. Certified, sustainably harvested wood is used throughout the building. Strategic use of glazing and skylights floods the space with indirect sunlight—a sustainable source of soft neutral lighting perfect for a showroom.