Location:                        Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Phase 1 Completed:     2010
Building Size:               525sm (5,650sft)

The Gathering Place at VIU is dedicated to serve the First Nations
students, elders and broader community and to accommodate post-secondary support and cultural functions. The design of The Gathering Place holistically integrates sustainable strategies such as Geothermal energy, rain water collection and a green roof while respecting traditional order and organization. The building draws its inspiration from the Pre-European Coast Salish Longhouse, orientating the building along a North-South Axis with its sacred entrance facing East. A sliding cedar panel façade system extends over the glazing; main entrance and carving area in a checker board fashion to reflect the organic nature of the cedar planks used in the past and dramatize the longitudinal nature of this building type. In addition to office and service space, the Gathering Place accommodates various uses of traditional practices such as ceremonial dances, gatherings, totem pole carving and drum making, while providing adequate study space and research areas for students.  The Student Lounge and the Sacred Space is housed in a longitudinal space supported by a monumental post and beam structure.  Both of these zones, book ended with covered outdoor carving spaces, preserve the sense of the longhouse and serve the many program needs.  The offices and services contained within a lower structure incorporate the planted green roof. Together the three zones interconnect to provide a sense of communal space solidifying the experience of being part of the larger Long House space.

Design Team
Alfred Waugh (Architect in charge), Teryl Mullock, Adam Jennings,
Matthew Lahey, Marc MacCaull, Amanda Wallace

Structural Engineers: Herold Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: AME Consulting Group
Electrical Engineer: Applied Engineering Solutions
Civil Engineer: Herold Engineering