Our new cultural centre was designed with wood to have a long life. With proper care, the building should be usable for at least 100 years and even longer so that it can be passed on to our great-great grandchildren.
Using a collaborative process between band members and the design and construction team, the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation chose wood for their new cultural centre because they wanted the structure to serve as a reflection of who they are as a community.
From the very first conversations with the community, architects understood that members wanted wood to serve not only as the primary building element, but also to be left exposed as much as possible to visually connect the structure to the land. The project includes a large open event space and gymnasium, an administration building with council chambers, classrooms, and a health clinic, all built with wood that will last for generations.
Wood was used almost exclusively throughout the post-and-beam structure, from the glulam beam framing and plywood sheathing to the decorative millwork, interior features and exterior cladding. The lobby and council chamber are dramatic, circular rooms with a vaulted glulam beam roof structure clad with cedar tongue-and-groove planks, demonstrating the resonant properties and timeless aesthetic of wood. Large Douglas fir glulam beams span the width of the assembly hall and solid wood posts add richness and warmth to the main corridors and lobby, supporting the beams above while highlighting the exposed wood structure.