The Red Hill Valley Environmental Interpretive Centre
The Red Hill Valley is a striking landscape linking the top of the Niagara Escarpment with the shores of Lake Ontario. Here, the story of past histories and possible futures reside for us to experience through a new Environmental Interpretive Centre (EIC). Headed by the Joint Stewardship Board, a collaborative agency of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs and the City of Hamilton, the EIC will embody a new direction in interpretive centres that shifts away from a static experience towards an immersive one. Dynamic, inspiring and enabling, the Interpretive Centre will engage the entire Valley as a series of learning environments to be experienced as a journey across our urban and natural environments.
Located at the top of the Valley, the ECI takes advantage of a drop between the welcoming meadow at the Mud Street Trail entry and the slope into the Valley itself. Tucked into a rocky ledge, the only evidence of this modest building are the sloping and accessible grassed roofs. Once inside, or below the meadow, the Centre opens onto the beauty of the Valley, using the geometries and materials around it as precedents for its character. Visitors may choose to walk past on their way to other destinations, or, travel through the building itself along a ramp that gently travels between levels where framed views and Centre programs are visible.
Passive sustainable strategies for heating and cooling, as well as careful water management will create a self-sustaining system for comfortable indoor environments.