Location
  • Osoyoos, BC
Client
  • Osoyoos Indian Band
Completion
2006
Size
  • 775 sq m
  • 8,342 sq ft
Collaborators
  • Philips Farevaag Smallenberg
DIALOG Services
  • Architecture
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The Nk’Mip Desert Culture Centre's design is a specific and sustainable response to the building’s unique context - the spectacular Canadian desert found south of the Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos, British Columbia. This 1,600-acre parcel of land, belonging to the Osoyoos Indian Band, is the largest intact remnant of this unique habitat. The rammed earth building is an extension of the remarkable site. It features indoor and outdoor exhibits that honour the cultural history of the band.
If the very old will remember, the very young will listen.
Chief Dan George
nkmip cultural centre kelowna sketch 01a

It All Started With A Sketch

A beautiful ruin The team wanted to design a building that would one day make a beautiful ruin...
nkmip cultural centre kelowna sketch 01

It All Started With A Sketch01

... a building that spoke to the earth, and vice versa
nkmip cultural centre kelowna sketch 02

It All Started With A Sketch02

As part of this vision, a natural finish connected the building to the site by using the desert's materials: earth and pine wood.
nkmip cultural centre kelowna sketch 03

It All Started With A Sketch03

Local experts informed on materials and building methods that would protect the sensitive desert ecosystem.
nkmip cultural centre kelowna poi 01

Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre Points of Interest 01

Thoroughly sustainable

The desert landscape flows over the building’s green roof and is held back by a rammed-earth wall. Artfully engineered layers carry upwards of 100 tons of weight. Its earth tones hold a thermal resistance of R33, and functions well in temperatures that range from -30 C to +40 C.

nkmip cultural centre kelowna poi 02

Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre Points of Interest 02

The project’s ambitious approach towards sustainable design also includes the use of bluestain pine from trees killed by the pine beetle, low-flow fixtures, waterless urinals, and facilities for the Band’s award-winning rattlesnake research project.

Evoke DIALOG

Paying homeage to the history of the Osoyoos Indian Band and their 'place'.

Awards

2007 Award of Excellence, Innovation in Architecture, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

2008 Category Winner, World Architecture Festival, World Architecture Festival

2007 Inspirational Leadership Award, Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia

2008 SAB Award , Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine

2007 Lieutenant–Governor of British Columbia Medal of Excellence in Architecture, Architectural Institute of British Columbia

2007 Governor General's Medal in Architecture, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

2007 Wood Design Green Award, Canadian Wood Council

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