Our view on heritage restoration and adaptive reuse begins with respect for the site’s heritage, through thoughtful adaptive reuse of the existing structure. RATIO's work in conserving some of British Columbia’s heritage sites has resulted in award-winning and nationally recognized sites that connect design excellence, adaptive reuse and historic preservation.
Wood Design Details:
The predominant use of wood is consistently applied across the entire building and site. Slender steel supporting columns create a tree house feel to the main multi-purpose space. A nail-laminated floor provides a substantial and warm underside surface as patrons approach the site from the west, as the structure housing the main space is supported over the walkway.
The exterior wood cladding utilizes typical, dimensioned boards arranged vertically and horizontally in varied patterns, both screened and slatted and creates a visual diversity across all the elevations. The natural tones of wood are emphasized project-wide to balance and enhance the building against the rich verdant of the park like setting in the summer months while brightening the location in the darker, more stark winter months.
The project setting:
The Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre is in a unique, ecologically diverse setting. Located on an elevated patch of grass amongst a grove of trees and intersecting with natural paths into and around the Kanaka Creek regional parkland area. The new Centre is part of a project that seeks to re-naturalize the fringes of a floodplain along the south bank of Kanaka Creek. The facility and overall site offers interpretive areas and educational opportunities for watershed management, the local ecosystem diversity and nature conservation.
Learn more about the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre.
Award-winning wood design:
RATIO was awarded two 2014 BC Wood Design Awards in for the Salmon Arm Savings building: the Commercial Wood Design Award and RATIO principal Mike Mammone was honoured with the Architect Award. Read more about this project in our Anatomy of a Wood Building blog.
Updated May 9, 2017
A Replicable Model for Watershed Stewardship
The RATIO-designed Watershed Stewardship Centre at Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge opened to the public on Saturday, April 30 as part of the annual ‘Goodbye Chums’ release. More than 800 visitors visited the new Watershed Stewardship Centre and participated in the annual ‘Goodbye Chums” release. Partially funded by the local community, the Centre is designed as a replicable model for watershed stewardship, sustainability, education and grassroots engagement.
From KEEPS Chair Ev Fairbrother, “Managing stormwater is key to protecting the Kanaka Creek watershed. The outdoor classroom, including the ‘Roof to Creek’ water features and interpretive signage, create a powerful teaching environment. This Centre has been a long-time dream and driver for the stewardship organization who mustered support, donations and volunteers to help create this anchor for its successful education programs, stewardship projects, and outreach.”
Integration of Sustainable Design
The new, Ratio-designed Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre complements the Bell-Irving Hatchery built in 2013. By incorporating environmentally responsible design throughout the site and facility planning, the impacts of the overall development in this delicate watershed are minimized. The natural tones of wood are emphasized project wide to balance and enhance the building against the rich verdant of the park like setting in the summer months while brightening the location up in the darker, winter months. The predominantly wood superstructure and cladding maximize the carbon sequestration for a small building while creating an affordable framework for project delivery. The Watershed Stewardship Centre is in a campus-like setting where connectivity and circulation of the spaces are outdoors. The site seeks to naturalize itself against the ebb and flow of Kanaka Creek floods it is susceptible to. Natural swales are utilized immediately around the buildings to control and manage the storm-water flow into the creek.
“The addition of the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre will offer education and grassroots engagement on the critical importance of watershed stewardship and environmental sustainability,” said Heather Deal, chair of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee. “We are thrilled to officially open this Centre in Maple Ridge for the enjoyment of all Metro Vancouver residents and visitors.”
In the works for years, the Centre is intended as an immersive and highly engaging place for visitors with a strong connection to the natural environment. Project funding came from Metro Vancouver, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Shell FuellingChange, KEEPS, Vancity and a bequest from the late George Ross. Pacific Parklands Foundation, a non-profit society established to support Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks system, played a key role in fundraising. RATIO
From RATIO principal, Mike Mammone, “The volunteers and stakeholders behind the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre are to be commended for their dedication and perseverance. The RATIO team is proud to have been part of the solution on the realization of this project. “
Read more about the organizations involved in this project:
KEEPS (Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society)
Pacific Parklands Foundation
Metro Vancouver Press Release on Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre