INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL COMMUNITIES
Design Completed: February 2018
Building Area: 3,972sm (42,760sft)
The International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ICSRC) will focus on research and exhibitory for sustainable rural communities, biodiversity, and Climate Change. Through the idea of Etuptmumk “Two eyes seeing” this centre will investigate ways to merge Indigenous knowledge with western knowledge to map out a new way to coexist in harmony with nature. The centre is in the City of Brockville on the foot of the St Lawrence river and gateway to the Thousand Island Region a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. The context is urban, and the city is one of the oldest European communities in Canada.
The three storey building houses exhibit spaces, classrooms, labs and offices. In addition to the base program a central entrance lobby, cafe, gift shop, and back of house service space. The site location is tight in a historic context of narrow streets and stone buildings.
The building form is inspired by the local indigenous typology of the eastern longhouse. The building is articulated by two long house forms that intersect at the centre. The curved shape softens the corner of the building responding to the narrow streets. All levels of the building are connected by a gently sloping pedestrian ramp. An exhibit space modelled after the long house occupies the centre of the building with a pedestrian ramp wrapping around it connecting the 2nd and 3rd floor. This central structure is inspired by the long house structure used historically by the Akwesasne, St. Lawrence Iroquoians, and the Mohawk people which was constructed of a bent wood frame structure clad in elm bark.
EuroMAB - Unesco
Alfred Waugh (Lead Architect), Monika Kolon