Pictou Landing Health Center

PICTOU LANDING COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER Pictou Landing First Nation’s Health Center in Nova Scotia was designed to utilize local materials and skills, reflect the culture of the Mi’kmaq community, and operate with sustainable energy resources. The Chief and Council, working with the designers, held consultation sessions with elders and other community groups to develop a clear vision for a center which combined spiritual, communal, and environmental considerations. The structural system of spruce round wood trusses was developed though a study of historic wood used by Mi’kmaq culture in their construction of lodges, longhouses and other structures, and was built by workers from the community using trees from the surrounding forests. This innovative structural system was developed through building prototypes, and the analysis was confirmed with full-scale load tests of the trusses. The cross section of the building allows for passive collection of return air and efficient heat recovery ventilation. Heat and cooling for the building comes from a groundwater source, making use of a decommissioned community well and pump house. Natural lighting is an important aspect for all of the rooms in the building. One of the interior walls has a plaster finish made with local earth, made in a process of collaboration with children from the nearby community school. As well as recording the imprints of community members, the wall helps to stabilize interior humidity levels. As well as a professional clinic, the building includes a large community meeting room, display cases for local artifacts in the reception area, and a medicine garden outdoors. Please note that the architects of this project are residents of Nova Scotia, although qualified in Europe. Therefore the project was carried out in affiliation with a local architect (This note follows the advice of the local agent for the festival).

 

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