The Osler Bluff Ski Club is a renovation of and addition onto a 1979 heavy-timber and coreslab structure. A new facade creates a view from the terrain of a modern Clubhouse linked to the Club's history with an extension that mimics the re-skinned gabled Clubhouse and contains a lunchroom and servery, lockers and support spaces, and a new child-minding space.

A Clubhouse renovation and expansion was required to solve the most pressing issues facing the club: overcrowded lunchtime seating, poor flow between the change rooms and social spaces, a deafening après-ski experience, and no child minding spaces. The original building also needed to be brought up to current health, accessibility, and life-safety standards.

The design resolution focused on tying together the old and new structures with an intent to capture the historic and beloved spirit of the existing heavy timber spaces while creating a modern and sustainable expression that speaks to the Club’s future.

Carrying through an ethos of craft and timber construction, new Y-Columns reinterpret the existing heavy timbers and are CNC-milled to mimic the soft profiles discovered through the history of hand-carved wood skis. The figural character of these new columns marks one of many wood details throughout the clubhouse, establishing a site-specific language of solid and veneer-based construction techniques and presenting the members with tactile moments throughout the Club.

A new Douglas Fir acoustic ceiling runs through the entire project, acting as a primary surface in both the renovated and new spaces. The new ceiling aligns with the lower face of the existing timber frames, allowing the new sprinkler system and lighting to be concealed and giving the Clubhouse the feeling of a wooden tent. The dramatically reduced decibel level has made for a space that is warm acoustically, which complements the warmth of the interior finishes.

The initial decision to reuse the existing clubhouse instead of demolishing and rebuilding was critical. It meant a reduction in the amount of waste generated by demolition, conservation of the embedded carbon, and fewer new materials to achieve the new building. Given that many of the existing solid Douglas Fir timber frames were previously exposed to the exterior on one side, many had checks of up to an inch wide. Each timber was assessed and repaired, and the accumulated weathering was left intact, preserving the memory of the old building line. The new slope-side façade, which replaced 40-year-old single-glazed windows with a timber-backed curtain wall, now encapsulates the timber, protecting it from the elements.

These measures ensured that all the existing timber was kept in the building and will continue to perform as originally designed. Working to retain and reinforce the original structure allowed the spirit of the existing Clubhouse to be maintained while delivering what is essentially a new building enveloping it.