Located in Central Alberta, Saddle Lake 125 is just one of three reserves governed by the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. In 1991, the vision for the new Saddle Lake Junior-Senior High School emerged through our firm's collaboration with the Saddle Lake Band Chief and Council, the New School Building Committee, school staff and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Our stakeholders desired to determine a strong identifying image for the School which would reflect the community's Indigenous values and cultural heritage. As such, the School's plan was developed the symbol of the eagle and the four directions of the Medicine Wheel. During collaborative workshop sessions, the stakeholders expressed a desire for the school to feel like a village, rather than a factory, and that the school to appear as collection of buildings, rather than as a monolithic single structure. The School is exceptional in its accessibility, allowing easy entrance and movement throughout the spaces, and supports each unique student and visitor. Features that were determined to be essential to the success of the building were strong, distinct entrances, acoustic control, and the ability to plan for the school's future expansion.
OUR EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP
The school features a building envelope that is air and vapour tight and has been constructed with materials that are durable, easily maintained, cost effective, and beautiful. Built in the early 1990s, the Saddle Lake Junior-Senior High school was one of our firm's very first projects. The School gives us the special opportunity to witness the evolution of our work and to experience a project as it is shaped and transformed by time and the many generations that have passed through its halls. The School is still occupied and beloved by its community and today, we are working alongside the Saddle Lake community again to create an Elementary School and Seniors Residence.