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Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services


New Construction


In Progress


40,770 sf

The Sarnia Supportive Housing Friendship Centre is currently being designed for Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS). This development is a key piece in the continued efforts of OAHS to assist municipalities to build affordable housing in their community. This development will be a six-storey, forty-unit non-profit apartment building, with commercial and community space. It will also include an Indigenous friendship centre and program space on the first and second floors.


The Sarnia Supportive Housing complex and friendship centre incorporates several elements of Indigeneity, which in turn results in a sustainable passive design.


The friendship centre is driven by connection to the natural environment and its occupants. Through blending the exterior into the interior and allocating substantial space for vegetation and urban agriculture, the building aims to facilitate strong connections to the land. As well, the interior landscape of the building connects its users through overlapping moments whether it be a mezzanine, clear storey window, or informal communal spaces.


These interconnected spaces and connections to outside allow for appropriate solar gain and passive air flow throughout the building. The South Western glazing encourages daylight usage, reducing the need for artificial lighting. As well, the shading devices mitigate the heat effect of the summer sunlight while still maximizing the winter sunlight. The passive air flow of the friendship centre is achieved with skylights which create a stack effect pushing the hot air up and out the building while perpetuating natural air movement.


Lastly, the Friendship centre pays homage to the Indigenous long house by reflecting the techniques of bent wood and joinery in the event space. The ceiling design utilizes the long house skylights for passive solar gain and air flow, as well as emphasizing the North orientation which directs the people back home. This North orientation also leads to an exterior fire pit and dedicated space for ceremony.

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