The new P’egp’ig’lha Community Centre combines the functions of community hall, band offices and health centre for the Ti’t’q’et First Nation, whose traditional territory occupies the benchlands above the Fraser River near the town of Lillooet. The 1,860 square metre facility responds to its site and the demands of the microclimate in much the same way that traditional native dwellings did. In a region of cold winters and hot summers, and in a valley subject to persistent winds, the structure is partially sunk into the ground and sheltered by earth berms. Exterior louvres catch the wind and distribute it via underground ducts that supply low velocity air to the displacement ventilation system. In a climate where heating and cooling requirements are balanced over the year, a geo-exchange system supplies cold water to the radiant floor slabs in summer and hot water in winter.
The domed community hall is the most striking feature of this all-wood building. The structure comprises vertical glulam posts and shallow glulam arches set at 3.6 metre centres. Between the posts, the above-grade portions of the exterior walls are infilled with cross laminated timber panels that are self-finished, and also provide the required lateral resistance to the structure. The glulam arches are bridged by 2x10 joists set at 300mm centres, which in turn support plywood roof sheathing exposed on the underside.
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