From its start in 1975, Lubor Trubka Associates Architects (LTA Production Ltd.), has grown into an expert and internationally recognized leader and innovator in engineered wood design and architecture.
The firm has designed projects for all levels of government, private corporations, institutions and First Nations communities. It has been responsible for the design and master planning of sites across North America, as well as in India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Lubor Trubka, principal, says from the beginning of his career he recognized the need to understand and embrace local construction technology. “I understood early on that there were no clay deposits to make bricks, nor steel mills in the province, so wood had to be the material of choice for all designs I did.”
Also an engineer by training, his designs from the start began with that engineer’s perspective of the structure influencing the architecture. Though this led to quick growth and success, and recognition for his unconventional wood structures, by the 80s he had scaled back his team and now maintains no more than eight chairs in the office. “When we got too large, I found I was spending more of my time running the company than I was being an architect.”
Among the company’s early successes, and real demonstrations for the capabilities of engineered wood construction, were the South Surrey Ice Arena where the team achieved a 50m clear span over an Olympic size rink, and a similar structure completed for the municipality of Abbotsford that covered 60m by 90m.
Trubka’s affinity for and understanding of the capabilities of wood have led to a great deal of First Nations’ work. The company is currently pioneering two new large span wood projects. One will be a 35,000 sq. ft. health and administrative building, for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in North Vancouver and the other, a community centre for the Lower Nicola Indian Band near Merritt, BC. Both will be constructed almost completely of wood and engineered wood.
Part of his success with First Nations’ projects may also be a reflection of his approach. Understanding that his team is designing buildings intended to serve communities well into the future, community engagement is a big part of the design process. “We get the community involved in contributing ideas and integrate their input. When, at the opening ceremony, a person comes in and compliments us because we’ve incorporated their ideas or have taken their suggestions, that is very meaningful to us.”
That community connection is evident in other ways. Trubka recalls the Acwsalcta School project that was constructed at a remote wooded location in Bella Coola, B.C. “We harvested the trees directly from the site, milled the wood there, and used local band labour to do the work so most of the funding for the project stayed in the community. It was a fully sustainable project.”
The firm has been recognized with numerous awards over the years including the Prestigious World Architecture News Award in 2010 for the Tseshaht Tribal Multiplex & Health Centre in Port Alberni, BC; a gold medal as Project of the Year for a 69-acre master plan and design of the Liberec Sport and Recreation Complex in the Czech Republic, and multiple other local and international awards.
For more information, visit https://www.lubortrubka.com.