SIX NATIONS BIRTHING CENTRE
Location Ohsweken ON
Client Six Nations of the Grand River
Type New Construction
Size 13000 sf
This project provided a centre for the promotion of midwifery, home birth and traditional mothering, primarily for aboriginal families but has also been established to serve the southwest Ontario region. The building is located on Sour Springs Road west of Chiefswood Road. Perched on the crest of a hill, the setting provides a non-institutional and comforting environment.
The north part of the building, a former residence at the site, underwent extensive renovation and rebuilding to restore the structure. This part of the facility houses the administration, teaching spaces, pre-natal classes and a kitchenette. The southern part of the building is an addition that includes three (3) birthing rooms, service spaces and overnight accommodation so that extended families can be a part of deliveries.
The overall architectural language focuses on residential forms to suggest a familiar and friendly atmosphere. The building reflects a colourful symbolic expression of traditional Iroquoian midwifery - the colour purple. The new and existing building areas are joined through the use of common materials and details to provide for continuity. The use of clerestory windows allows for the privacy of its occupants but also allows for penetration of natural light. The interior planning is functional and maximizes the utilization of available floorspace.