Completion: 2009
Owner: WSANEC School Board

WSANEC Middle School

South Saanich Indian Reserve, Brentwood Bay

Serving the students from the four Coast Salish Indian bands forming the WSANEC School Board, this new junior-high school is located on the South Saanich Indian Reserve, 25 km north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. The new building is sited at the entry of the education campus that houses the school board’s existing cultural buildings, elementary school and gymnasium, fostering the sharing of spaces and facilities.

Formal reference for the design draws from traditional Coast Salish plank houses and from the wood detailing of the surrounding campus buildings. Hierarchy of form is created through increased volume and articulation to identify entry and feature spaces. The high volume of the entry hall was developed to host a famous Coast Salish dug-out canoe, suspended from the exposed wood roof structure.

Reading nook

Other areas of the building have been designed to feature local craftsmanship, such as the pedestals in the Great Hall, designed to receive welcoming totem poles, and thick wood elements (such as benches and feature doors) designed to be carved by local artists.


Related work: Featured First Nations Schools