Clover Park Technical College

Clover Park Technical College, located in Lakewood, Washington has for years been a vital part of its community. The new 48,000 SF Student Center is the fruit of a vision to expand and shift the old military base campus westward. Western Red Cedar was incorporated in the ceiling Grilles and proved to be a critical design element.

The new Student Center was designed by Tacoma's McGranahan Architects, and connected with 9Wood, Inc. Engineered-To-Order Wood Ceilings during the design phase. Located at the crossroads of pedestrian walkways, project acoustician SSA Acoustics of Seattle brought in 9Wood's local rep Jerald Schwartz to help introduce warm materials that would "draw people in."

Wood slat ceilings at the entry canopies were chosen for both aesthetic and technical reasons. Aesthetically, they desired a warm component to both enhance and contrast with the overall building materials of concrete, metal and glass. And technically, the materials in the entryway canopies needed to adapt to an exterior environment. As such, Western Red Cedar's varied color and inherent structural characteristics made it ideal.

Western Red Cedar initially underwent some fire from Clover Park's Tony Robinson, Vice President for Operations and Facilities. Robinson recalled being quite "turned off" by the color variation at first, but after admonitions to wait for the final installation remarked that he couldn't be more pleased, even requesting the speakers be moved to prevent cut-outs. In summary, Western Red Cedar's inclusion was a significant element in the success of the final building design.

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