How do you create a welcoming gathering place that any community would be glad to call its own? There is a three step formula. Native Child and Family Services of Toronto opened in the summer of 2010 in a reconverted office building in the center of Toronto. The facility houses a drop-in childcare centre, an artist studio, family, mental health, social services and a rooftop garden.
CONNECT WITH OLD + NEW REFERENCES
– Start with natural & cultural materials: yellow birch, white cedar, Eramosa limestone, river rock & red slate
– Combine with indigenous plants of the region: sweet grass, sage, tobacco, corn & squash
– Reference the traditional cedar long house
– Add a roof garden for gathering and ceremony, complete with fire pit and sweat lodge
INFUSE WITH GREAT ART + GRAPHICS
– Collaborate with aboriginal artists for original art
– Bring in a graphic designer to create a memorable & warm interior (we LOVE the supergraphics on glass)
BRING YOUR ECO-PHILOSOPHY
– Reuse an energy-inefficient, underutilized structure and retrofit with non-toxic, low impact, local & low maintenance materials
– Incorporate a low-maintenance green wall in the interior to bring oxygen to every floor while collecting rainwater for rooftop plants.
Architect (& image credit): Levitt Goodman Architects