Designed by Lubor Trubka Associates Architects, Tseshaht First Nation Health Centre and Multiplex is located in Port Alberni, Canada. The site, a large granite bluff above the salmon-spawning river, offered an opportunity for a nature-preserving solution. Instead of rock blasting and massive excavations, the building design respects the existing topography, as an elevated wood structure cantilevering over the river’s edge.
The structure is a combination of post-and-beam frames infilled with glazing and a limited amount of strategically placed shear walls, utilising engineered wood products and a variety of natural lumber products harvested by Tseshaht from their own forests. This near to ‘mill work’ design concept that exposes every element of the structure as an architectural feature required precision pre-manufacturing of each element, which was done on site before its assembly and was predominantly carried out by Tseshaht Tribe members.