Chandler Architecture



In 2004, William Chandler Architects Inc was engaged to develop a design for a highways maintenance depot and testing lab to be constructed at Slemon Park in Summerside. The existing facility had been inadequate for some time and a new, expanded garage was long overdue. The consultant team surveyed the end users and prepared a detailed spatial program which would accommodate all office needs, materials testing, staff services and vehicular maintenance. After researching and visiting a number of depots in the area and surveying the equipment to be incorporated into the new building and materials to be stored on the site, the design process begin in earnest. Many configurations and structural approaches were considered before determining that the best suited form would be a pair of pre-engineered steel structures attached but offset from each other. Office and staff functions were housed in the smaller block while the garage service bays occupied the second larger block.

The site was designed to optimize the storage and flow of vehicles and materials while establishing a secure distinction between staff areas and those accessible to the public. Designs were developed for a salt storage enclosure, a pole barn and sand storage area. Other areas were defined for parking and charging various vehicle types, storing and fabricating highway signage and fuel storage and delivery. Due to budgetary constraints, the testing lab portion of the project was deleted post tender and the accessory buildings were tendered separately. The completed facility was occupied in the fall of 2006 and is in its first winter season. The occupants and Owner appear to find the building comfortable, efficiently designed and well-suited to the needs of the department.