Description of Historic Place
The Trades Training Building is a prominent two-storey modern structure made of concrete blocks, concrete and steel. It features a simple, rectangular massing with a flat roof, large expanses of glass and horizontal spandrel panels. The Trades Training Building is a purpose-built training facility located on a gently sloping site on the south side of Lang Cove and across from the main complex of the Naden site in Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt. The formal designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Trades Training Building at the Canadian Forces Fleet School is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Trades Training Building is a very good illustration of the expansion and the modernization of the Canadian Navy in the 1950’s, in response to the development of the Cold War and the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Trades Training Building is representative of the 1950’s approach to accommodating and training military personnel in the post-war period. The Trades Training Building is a very good illustration of the third phase of expansion and development of the Naden site as a training center for specialized trades of the Canadian Navy in the 1950’s.
The Trades Training Building is a good example of late Modern architecture, in it expression of a rational plan and aesthetic derived from the function of the building and the use of modern materials and minimal detailing. The exterior of this large building comprises of simple rectilinear forms following the gentle slope of the site and punctuated by large expanses of glass with colored spandrel panels. The Trades Training Building is a very good example of a purpose-built technical training center and consists of simple, efficient and flexible interior spaces. The building is well constructed of easy to maintain and durable materials, and presents good quality of craftsmanship. The building is also a very good example of the work of the well-known west coast firm McCarter & Nairne and Partners Architects and Engineers and illustrates well their approach to the science of economical design.
As one of the largest and the most prominent building in CFB Esquimalt-Naden, the Trades Training Center reinforces the institutional character of its surrounding area. The Trades Training Building is located on a high point of land surrounded by lower buildings on tree-lined streets to the east and the north, a wooded area to the west, and the Radar Training Building to the south. Minor changes to the site, which include small building additions on the west and the on the south and modifications to the surrounding roads, have changed the historical relationship between the building and its surrounding landscape but its character has been retained. The Trades Training Building is conspicuous and familiar to the CFB Esquimalt community, both as a training facility and as part of the long history of naval training at the Naden site.
Sources: Fern Mackenzie, Buildings 92 & 92A (Canadian Forces Fleet School Trades Training and Radar Training, Formerly Naval Technical School), CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 05-101; Building 92 Trades Training Building, CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement 05-101.
The character-defining elements of the Trades Training Building should be respected.
Its illustration of the historical theme of expansion and the modernization of the Canadian Navy in the 1950’s as reflected in:
- its purpose-built design as a technical training facility, representative of the 1950’s approach of accommodating and training military personnel in the post-war period.
Its good Modern design, very good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its simple, ordered, geometric massing responding to the gentle sloping site;
- its exterior façades, with minimal detailing, including coloured spandrels panels and a grid pattern of windows, clearly expressing the interior arrangements and functions of spaces;
- its highly efficient interior layout consisting of double-loaded corridors in the classrooms and administrative areas, and a block containing large flexible spaces for the workshops;
- the natural lighting of the interiors resulting from extensive use of glass in the administrative and classroom areas and north facing clerestory windows for the workshop areas;
- the use of durable, easy to maintain materials including glass, concrete block, reinforced concrete, and steel;
- the use of sound traditional and well-executed construction techniques including concrete block masonry, and steel and reinforced concrete construction;
- the industrial character of the workshop interiors, as expressed by the large, open spaces and the use of durable finishes including painted concrete block and reinforced concrete floors; and,
- the formal, institutional character of the administrative and classroom interiors, as expressed by the clean and efficient appearance, minimal detailing, and the use of hard finishes such as ceramic tiles, terrazzo, and steel.
The manner in which the building reinforces the institutional character of CFB Esquimalt as evidenced in:
- its large size and prominent location on a high point of land on the Naden site of CFB Esquimalt; and,
- its siting amongst similar buildings that dominate their settings.