It’s hard to believe but it’s been 10 years since the Lodge at Camp Wapomeo was built. On the occasion of finally getting our official Studio Tangent website launched, we thought it would be interesting to look back on the design and construction process for this unique building. Situated on an island in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park and part of the Taylor Statten Camps, there were many challenges to overcome in getting the Wapomeo Lodge built in 2004.
This photograph shows the old stone fireplace that was preserved from the original Lodge building after demolition. The design concept was to build a simple timber frame barn structure around the existing fireplace to create a multi-purpose gathering and performance space for the summer camp.
The schematic design model shows the timber framing concept using scissor trusses. The fireplace can be seen on the side near the indoor/outdoor stage.
This was in the days before SketchUp computer modeling so a physical model, in this case using cardboard, wood and plasticine, was used to test the design. The sloping site allowed for a library space to be accommodated under the tiered seating at one end while having a stage with outdoor seating at the other.
The final design required careful coordination with the structural engineering for the timber frame. We worked closely with Northern Timberhouse located in Minden, Ontario throughout this process.
All of the timber frame components were manufactured in the Northern Timberhouse shop during the winter of 2003/2004. Each piece was carefully pre-fitted to ensure that the frame could be put together quickly and efficiently when transported to the site.
The barge arrives! After the ice went out, the builder, Lake of Bays General Contracting, arranged to have a large barge transported to Canoe Lake arriving on May 19, 2004. The photograph on the left shows a crane lifting the barge from the transport trailer into the water.
Work on the foundation piers could now begin. All of the concrete footings were anchored directly to the bedrock.
One week later, concrete block piers have been built and the lower floor framing has started. These photographs were taken on May 28, 2004.
June 4, 2004: Main floor framing underway.
June 8, 2004: Timber frame components arrive on Wapomeo Island.
Using a boom truck brought over on the barge, the timber frame is assembled within 3 days – the structure of the Lodge magically appears!
June 11, 2004: The girder truss spanning across the fireplace can be seen in the image on the left. Scissor truss bents connected by beams and roof purlins were used to create the basic barn shape.
July 2004: The task of enclosing the Lodge was a much longer process. Custom wood windows and doors were used to be consistent with the other camp buildings. Tongue and groove pine planks were used for the roof to span between the purlins.
August 10, 2004: The Lodge nears completion.
Spring 2005: The finished floor is completed and the Wapomeo Lodge is ready for its first full season at the Taylor Statten Camps.