Text description provided by the architects. Located at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, this building was designed to accommodate the Indigenous Graduate Student Union. The building is comprised of classrooms, offices, study spaces, ceremonial space and lounges for elders and students. The design of the building is inspired aesthetically and philosophically from the indigenous Coast Salish culture. The First Peoples House embodies traditional Coast Salish building principles in its’ ability to mediate the environment, maximize sunlight, ventilation, natural resources and local materials.
The site design incorporates existing footpaths, supplemented with the reintroduction of low-maintenance indigenous plants, waterfall and storm-water retention pond. All these natural features contribute to building’s overall calming and magnificent presence. The project received LEED Gold certification in 2011.