Completion: 2013
Owner: Tsartlip First Nation

Tsartlip Health Centre

South Saanich Indian Reserve, Brentwood Bay, BC

Located on the South Saanich Indian Reserve, this community health centre provides the Tsartlip First Nation with a broad spectrum of health services, including counselling, dental care, medical exams, prenatal classes, elders programs, diabetes education, nutrition, and early childhood support. The new facility also provides gathering spaces for traditional practices, after-hours community events, celebrations and ceremonies.

Material choices connect the new building to its site and cultural traditions. The dark cementitious panel cladding blends into the surrounding rock slope and forest – and recalls the plank siding of Coast Salish houses. A single entry portal, consistent with traditional architecture, is constructed of rough-sawn timber that has been harvested, dried and milled on site. Also integrated into the building are carved cedar doors, an entry totem and house posts, completed by local artists.

To support the constantly changing nature of healthcare programs, the building is designed to provide a maximum amount of flexibility in both structure and building systems. The roof, constructed of douglas-fir glulam beams spanning from wood frame perimeter bearing walls, allows interior partitions to be easily modified or removed, while the simple structural and mechanical systems are conceived to facilitate future changes.

Related work: First Nations healthcare