Sky Canoe Headquarters aims to take First Nations communities to new heights

Sky Canoe’s new headquarters in Port Perry, Ontario. will not only be an aircraft hangar providing testing, pilot training and offices for the Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP (NNLP), it will also help connect remote First Nations communities and strengthen trade ties.

“Building is really about connectivity,” Danny Bartman, partner at LGA Architectural Partners, said in an email to the Daily Commercial News.

“The coworking spaces will attract start-up businesses and professionals from other nearby First Nations communities, while the drone delivery service will foster cross-community business ties with other First Nations in more remote parts of the country.

Sky Canoe produces autonomous, zero-emission, long-range cargo aircraft dedicated to creating connectivity, economic development and a sustainable cargo solution for the low-carbon economy.

The one-story, 4,000 square foot facility, located at 21800 Island Rd. is designed by LGA Architectural Partners and Gillam Group is the construction manager.

LGA ARCHITECTURAL PARTNERS — The new headquarters of Sky Canoe/Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP (NNLP) in Port Perry, Ontario. will be used as an aircraft hangar as well as for aircraft testing, pilot training, and office and meeting space for the NNLP. The construction manager for the project is Gillam Group and the architect is LGA Architectural Partners.

The new building will assist NNLP, which manages the for-profit businesses and investments of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, “in their vision to engage and grow wealth-creating opportunities.”

“The building is an important addition to the First Nation’s Mall on Scugog Island, as it sets a development model for sustainable growth on this site while framing views of the landscape beyond,” said Bartman. .

The facility will be constructed primarily with a timber frame and a small amount of structural steel. The facade consists of metal siding and roofing matched with cedar siding at the ends of the building as well as at the main entrance.

“Despite all the innovation and technology that will be housed in this new headquarters for Sky Canoe’s drone delivery operations and NNLP’s coworking and incubator spaces, the design of the building by contrast is a simple exposed hangar stick-frame,” Bartman said. “We wanted to design the kind of building that a carpenter or a boat builder would build themselves, an elegant barn, a building that you could simply add and modify yourself over time.”

The interior will consist of an exposed concrete floor slab and exposed wood with open ceilings. Part of the building will have a mezzanine above to house mechanical equipment as well as provide additional office space in the future.

The exposed timber frame, rafters, and plywood sheathing lamination are inspired by traditional canoes, reminiscent of exposed rib structures, layered cedar strips, and birch bark skins.

A commitment token is ceremonially placed in a first concrete pour of each project built by Gillam Group.  The tokens represent Gillam's commitment to delivering impactful projects.  For the Sky Canoe project, the token was placed in the first concrete foundation pour.
GILLAM GROUP — A pledge of commitment is solemnly placed in the first concrete pour of each project built by Gillam Group. The tokens represent Gillam’s commitment to delivering impactful projects. For the Sky Canoe project, the token was placed in the first concrete foundation pour.

“The outer shell is clad in a layered pattern of corrugated metal panels and the main entrances (for people and drones) are cut into the shape of the hangar and pitted to reveal a layer of cedar-lined cladding,” said said Kevin Martin. , project architect at LGA. “The use of cedar has an important traditional meaning and brings a natural warmth to the parts of the building that will greet people as they arrive.”

As part of the early builds of Gillam Group projects, a pledge token, specially designed for Gillam, is ceremonially placed in a concrete casting. For this project, the token was placed in the first pour.

“The coins symbolize Gillam’s commitment to delivering impactful projects that represent its values: Safety, Teamwork, Quality and Innovation,” said Jack Leonetti, Director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives at Gillam Group.

When asked what makes the project unique, Bartman said that Gillam Group was integrated from the start as a collaborator, with the client’s team, architects and engineers, as in the case of a integrated project delivery process.

“It was absolutely necessary given the volatility in the construction industry and the commodity markets,” he said. “Having real-time cost estimation and access to trades for design assistance so early in the design was really important. We were able to evaluate various wood systems based on cost, availability and schedule and we ultimately settled on a simple timber frame as the most predictable and flexible route.

Wood and concrete shortages in the industry posed problems for the project, Leonetti said, adding that the original design of the building’s structure consisted of many engineered wood products, including laminated timber beams. -glued, laminated veneer and I-beams.

“Due to difficulties in sourcing engineered wood products, the project team modified the design to include more dimensional lumber with some steel elements to achieve the same structure with more available materials. in today’s market,” Leonetti said. “Concrete shortages across the industry have made it difficult to recruit a supplier capable of meeting advertised schedule commitments. Through many discussions and ongoing communication, we were able to work with our concrete suppliers to keep concrete pours on schedule.

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.