Design Review of Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center, Osoyoos, Canada

This is about Design Review of Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center, Osoyoos, BC, Canada. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Center is designed to be a specific and sustainable response to the building’s unique context, the unusual Canadian desert found in the South Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos, British Columbia.

Sited next to a remnant of the Great Basin Desert (about 1,600 acres are being preserved by the band as a conservation area), this interpretative center is part of a larger 200-acre master plan.

Architecture of Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center

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Fact File of Project Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center:

  • Architects: DIALOG
  • Location: Osoyoos, BC V0H, Canada
  • Architect In Charge: Bruce Haden
  • Project Architect: Brady Dunlop
  • Area: 1,115 sqm
  • Photographs: Nic Lehoux Photography
  • Project Team: Norm Hotson, Stephanie Forsythe, Tina Hubert, Julie Bogdanowicz
  • Structural Engineering: Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
  • Landscape Architecture: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
  • Mechanical Engineering: Cobalt Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering: MCL Engineering
  • Code: LMDG Code Consultants
  • Exhibit Design: Aldrich Pears Associates
  • Acoustic: BKL Consulting
  • Theatre Design: Douglas Welch
  • Theatre Electrical: Acumen Consulting Engineers
  • Live Displays: Bufo Incorporated, Harry Parsons
  • Retail: Retail Excellence, Natalie Tan
  • General Contractor: Greyback Construction
  • Rammed Earth Wall Sub Contractor: Terra Firma Builders Ltd.

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What Architect say about Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center :

Nk Mip Desert Cultural Center is the first of a number of new B.C. aboriginal centers, and part of a growing trend to explore the expressive potential of architecture to convey the rich past and the transforming future of aboriginal culture.

The practical reasons behind this architectural exploration grow out of provincial leadership—a premier whose efforts to improve aboriginal relations have resulted in changes to the treaty process—as well as a shift in the regulatory environment governing the types of buildings permitted on reserve land.

The building features indoor and outdoor exhibits that celebrate the culture and the history of the band, and is designed to be an extension of the remarkable site, and reflects the band’s role as stewards of the land.

nk’mip pronunciation:

The desert landscape flows over the building’s green roof, held back by a rammed earth wall. The partly submerged building is sited very specifically to focus the visitor’s eye away from the encroaching development of Osoyoos to the west, with the height of the wall set
to create a layered view of the desert rising up in the middle ground, receding to the riparian landscape adjacent, and the mountains in the distance.

The attenuated entry sequence from the parking area moves visitors through a series of nested concrete walls up to an entry plaza at the end of the rammed earth wall.

The plaza—used for collecting large groups, and signage about events of the day—leads along a low concrete wall that separates the original desert landscape and the building.

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