Greenhouse Atrium in the WindSong Cohousing Community Project
About a month ago, I put out a request for stories and projects that helped to shape the BC Greenhouse that we are today. Rick visited my office and mentioned the WindSong Cohousing project. I had never heard of this project and ironically Cody found newspaper articles and stories about WindSong and left them on my desk this morning. I love how the universe works.
The WindSong Cohousing Community is “an innovative neighbourhood architecturally-designed to encourage interactions among members and to enrich our lives with the pleasure of cooperation and friendship.” It offers a sustainable lifestyle with a multipurpose common house where yoga, dance and workshops and community potlucks are held. The 4 acres of forested land offers gardens, a salmon stream with a beaver dam and is home to many varieties of birds and wildlife.
In the mid-90’s, BC Greenhouse was asked to design, manufacture and install a covered atrium where the children play and the neighbours congregate. From a technical viewpoint, this immense glass roof is over 10,000 square feet of laminated glass and spans over two wings of the building and is joined by a large common area. The roof is a very steep pitch at 15/12 and perhaps still might take the prize for the steepest pitch. The roof actually connects to the second floor on one side and the third floor on the other span. Interestingly the fire code for the building required pass through air so the ridge is not enclosed and has a custom “hat ridge” at the peak. The project took months to install and has stood the test of time beautifully.
One of the things we know for sure is that people are naturally drawn to light. This project is a great example of that. For more information about the WindSong Cohousing project visit https://windsong.bc.ca/.