NADJIWAN KAANDOSSIWIN GAMIK
Location Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener ON
Client Wilfred Laurier University
Type 2700 sf Addition
Completion In Process
Two Row Architect is leading the design team to transform Lucinda House into the new Nadjiwan Kaandossiwin Gamik Indigenous Centre at Wilfrid Laurier. This renovation and addition project, to a heritage protected facade originally built in 1838, will house the new centre intended to create a feeling of home-away-from-home; quite a difficult task considering the victorian styling of the original house and the restrictions with heritage. TRA, tasked with a program that included a 60 person gathering space took on a unique approach make the building “work” for the Indigenous population.
First, we placed the gathering space on the green side of the bundling, against nature, and nestled away from the street. This placement allowed us to satisfy heritage while creating a safe and open space away from traffic. Second, we made the new main accessible entrance off the back side of the building, pulling the focus away from the colonial heritage of the existing building. Additionally, there is a large and extensive landscape component that allows for gathering, ceremony, quiet reflection and study to occur in the gardens, which was formerly just lawn.
The addition also aligns with true north, breaking the grid of the city. The CLT building further acknowledges the movement of the sun by angling the roof to meet the apex of the winter suns solstice.