The Lubicon Lake Band #453 is a Cree First Nation community located in northern Alberta. For over a century, the Lubicon Lake band has been fighting for rightful ownership over their land, with community members largely impoverished and living in substandard housing. In 2018, Lubicon members approved an historic settlement with federal and provincial governments which not only ensured ownership over their land, but allowed them the resources to develop infrastructure and housing in their community.
We are honoured to be offered the opportunity to collaborate on this history-defining and comprehensive project. Through a series of workshops, we composed a new vision for the community. The new housing will encourage the health and well-being of members and cultivate pride and engagement in the community. The designs live lightly upon the land and connect deeply to the natural environment and the unique cultural context of Lubicon Lake, acknowledging the conditions of the past while looking towards the future and energizing the growth of the community. The project objective is to provide safe, healthy, and vibrant homes that are resilient and maintainable for generations to come.
HOUSING FOR GENERATIONS
The residences are comprised of 95 dwellings of different shapes and layouts. Whenever possible, the homes are oriented for maximum solar gain, with the solar panels on the roof gathering the energy of the sun, and an east-west orientation that will encourage passive heating during the area's long, cold winters. The homes will not only meet the needs of its occupants, by being highly durable and easy to maintain, but it will also capture the rich nuances and vibrancy of the Lubicon Lake Band's culture and history. The materials are readily available, locally sourced, and natural. It is important to the community members that the homes feel like home, in their materials, forms, and colours. One beautiful aspect of the project is that each homeowner or resident is invited to work directly with the contractor to 'personalize' their dwelling. The local economy is supported by the project, as we took care to hire from within the community whenever possible.