Lambton College, Outdoor Indigenous Gathering Space

Comprehensive and extensive engagement with the local Indigenous community and Lambton College identified several cultural associations essential for inclusion in the new standalone Gathering Space which will serve to host ceremonies, cultural teachings, and storytelling sessions. 

The exposed skin of the round, Wigwam-inspired wood structure is shaped by eight distinct petals, seven of which pay homage to seven Grandfather teachings: Bravery (Bear), Honesty (Raven), Humility (Wolf), Love (Eagle), Respect (Buffalo), Truth (Turtle) and Wisdom (Beaver). The eighth petal marks the entrance located on the east side reflecting the significance of the rising sun. The petals, through their reference to nature, also serve to reinforce the space’s essential connection to its surroundings and Mother Nature.

Ten clans – the Bear, Bird, Crane, Deer, Fish, Loon, Marten, Turkey, Turtle and Wolf – are also integrated in the structure of the Gathering Space taking shape within window designs. The layout is guided by the Four Directions, creating four quadrants acknowledged by animal references integrated in the space’s ceiling – the Bear, Bison, Eagle and Raven.

Built-in seating around the perimeter focuses on the central wood-burning fireplace which is suspended trough a central skylight that honours Father Sky. Integrated lighting within the ceiling of the structure further connects the interior space with the sky beyond.

Washrooms are located in a separate adjacent building which utilizes roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to capture power for use by the building and the Gathering Space.

This project is in collaboration with TAWAW Architecture Collective Inc