Whistler Roundhouse Patio

Whistler, British Columbia

Project Details

Sub Consultant

Resort Municipality of Whistler

March 2016

March 2017


Buildings | Structures | Timber

Project Description


Located over 1800m above sea level and nearly 1200m above the Whistler Village the Whistler Roundhouse Patio is the most popular place for lunch and or drink for a ski enthusiast looking for break on a blue bird winter day to those looking to rest their legs while on a hike in the summer it is the perfect place to take in the spectacular views of the Whistler mountain range.

Due to its location high above civilization, the patio had to be built with durability in mind to stand up to the extreme conditions of wind and snow. A wood design was chosen due to these factors for not only its durability to withstand the conditions but also because of its beauty. As the primary structural material of the Whistler Roundhouse Patio, wood is showcased in all aspects of the design, from the floor to the overall supporting structure.

ISL designed the structure to withstand the harshest conditions, the snow load for the deck structure is equivalent to 4.3m or over 14ft worth of snow. Using Douglas Fir octagonal sections for the columns as well as a configuration of crossing columns allowed for the heavy snow load sharing to be dispersed between columns. The crossing columns also form the lateral system to resist both wind and earthquake forces.

To promote drying, the wood was detailed for durability by incorporating weeping gaps and each Douglas Fir panel is held together with stressed rods to form the walking surface. These fabricated segments allow for the panel to be flipped over once worn, or replacing individually as needed – all without disrupting the overall structural system.

For exterior wood applications, vertical fasteners are often known to be the nail in the coffin when it comes to water ingress into the core of the wood member. To address these complicated issues, ISL turned to its true Canadian roots by using real ice hockey pucks, both regular size and mini as spacers in the connecting elements thus avoiding rot and water ingress into the structure and prolonging its service life. The connections were also specifically designed with fasteners into the side of members and in portions of the members sheltered from rain and snow are the alternative to vertical fasteners.