The new Operations Centre for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is a three-storey building housing the park operations and administration staff. The lowest level is oriented towards the waterfront and is primarily a support facility for the field operations. The upper two floors accommodate administration and resource management personnel in a mix of offices and open plan areas. The main floor level also features a small interpretive area in the front lobby and a large boardroom for public functions and meetings.
The interior of the building is planned around a central atrium lit by north-facing clerestorey windows highlighting the exposed inclined glulam structure and visually connecting the open floor areas. Mass concrete shear walls resist the considerable seismic loads in this area, glulam columns and beams support combined axial and bending loads and minimal steel members have been employed to support axial tensile/compressive loads. Interior finishes are minimized by allowing exposed structural materials to be the finishes where possible. Concrete floors are exposed, except within workstations and offices, and exposed steel deck and concrete slab ceilings predominate. Douglas Fir glulams, wood framing members and wall finishes are of local species and are also exposed.
The building form features a sawtooth roof meant to symbolize the rock ledges that characterize much of shoreline found in the Gulf Islands. Each facade has been designed to respond to its orientation, with sunshades provided on the south and east facades for passive shading and strip glazing on the north to take advantage of the expansive views over the water towards the islands. The building is clad with Western Red Cedar and galvanized steel.
The Gulf Islands Operations Centre is the first LEED® Platinum certified building in Canada and received a 2007 Award of Excellence in Green Building Design from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.