The Hesquiaht First Nation Place of Learning is a multi-purpose space, serving the community primarily as a K-12 school and additionally as a daycare, gathering place and sporting space. Due to the region’s status as a biosphere reserve, its residents are tasked with balancing the conservation of its biodiversity with sustainably using its resources.
As the remote location is accessible only by water or air, structural and finishing elements make use of wood sourced from storm-felled trees in a nearby forest. The logs from the harvested trees were milled on-site by some of the 48 community members employed and trained to construct the school. The use of local forest products directly contributed to the region economy and provided environmental benefits.
Logs milled on-site were manufactured into various building materials for the community space including framing, paneling, shelving, siding, trim, benches and fencing. Several of the western red cedar logs were used structurally as columns throughout the interior and exterior of the building.