Audain Art Museum – Hemlock Decorative Wood Products


Audain-Art-Museum-whistler-forest-productsWhistler Forest Products Corp was chosen as the supplier of the challenging Pacific Coast Hemlock Decorative Wood Products to be used extensively around the up and coming Audain Art Museum, being built at 4350 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, B.C. We met with Axiom Builders, the General Contractors, Patkau Architects, the designers and finally Polygon the mother company owned by Michael Audain, the philanthropist paying so the World could view his large collection of valuable artworks.

After an agreement was signed, Whistler Forest Products set about making the supply happen. First stop was Mainland Sawmill with a PEFC Certified Custom Cut for J&G Log Works who took on producing the large volume (~70,000 Fbm) of high grade all vertical grain Clear Hemlock cut to exacting custom dimensions. J&G also managed most of the kiln drying except whatever needed to be resawn smaller for some of the products before kiln drying.

The remanufacture was handled expertly by Cedarland Forest Products, who made up all the shop drawings to be reviewed by Patkau and then molded the works into the many different profiles, some of which were very difficult to make, like parallelograms that had up to 49-degree angles on the edges. The entire production had to have a one-millimetre pencil line break on all edges, which meant it all had to be molded twice. When they were done we had over 48 packages including 19 profiles, 12 of which were different. Not an easy job.

Next stop was Fisher Coating which sanded all the stock, applied the fire retardant treatment to the exterior stock, which had to dry before applying the 2 coats of stain. A lot of the stock had to be good 4 sides, which is almost impossible for a pre-stain plant to perform, but they set-up a method of holding the pieces at an angle where they sat still for 4 coats until dry and then they were packaged for shipment to the Museum. Innovation wins again. Whistler Forest Products wishes to thank all parties involved in this historic project.

Yours truly,

Richard Klinkhamer
Owner & General Manager
Whistler Forest Products Corp.

About The Audain Art Museum

The Audain Art Museum is a 56,000-square foot private museum located in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. It houses Michael Audains personal art collections which trace a visual record of British Columbia from the late l8th century to the present day. It includes one of the world’s finest collections of old First Nation masks, a superb collection of Emily Carr paintings, and works by some of Canadas most significant post-war artists including Jack Shadbolt, E. J. Hughes, and Gordon Smith, as well as works by internationally regarded contemporary artists such as Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas and others.

Audain Art Museum is deliberately restrained to provide a quiet, minimal backdrop to the art within and the surrounding natural landscape. The simple form of the exterior is clad in an envelope of dark metal which recedes into the shadows of the surrounding forest. Where this envelope is opened, to provide access to the entry porch or view from the glazed walkway to the galleries, the dark metal is overlaid by an inviting luminous wood casing. Public spaces in the interior, which are visible from the exterior, continue this warm luminous materiality.

The design of the museum is shaped by three powerful determinants. The first determinant is the need to house both the permanent exhibition of Michael Audains collection and, in juxtaposition with this collection, temporary exhibits of all kinds from across Canada and around the world. The second determinant is the beautiful but challenging site in Whistler which, although blessed by magnificent evergreen forest vegetation, is located within the floodplain of Fitzsimmons Creek. The third determinant is the enormous snowfall typical of Whistler which averages nearly 15 feet annual accumulated depth.

Our design responds to these determinants, simply and directly, by projecting a volume of sequential public spaces and galleries into an existing linear void within the surrounding forest. It is elevated a full story above the ground and crowned with a steeply sloped roof, containing administration and back-of-house support functions.