This recently completed building, located in Waskaganish, Quebec, houses the offices of the Cree Nation Government and those of the Eeyou Marine Region. It has a large, flexible and multi-functional conference room, designed to host meetings of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government.
The design intent of the project was to create an attractive, easy-to-access workspace, which was also close-to-nature, the founding element of Cree culture. The building's volumes were originally designed to reflect the planned cohabitation between the Cree government and the Eeyou Marine Region, which is the tenant of the place. The space thus consists of two square volumes, each surmounted by a double-slope aluminum roof, meeting in the centre of the building. Inside the building, meeting spaces open onto a large cafeteria and reception area. The dividing line between the two roofs is visible in the structure inside the building and visually modulates the rhythm of the frame. Special attention has been paid to natural lighting (direct and indirect), in order to favour links and views from inside the building to the natural environment surrounding it.
Wood is the main material used for the building's structure and decoration, including wooden columns, beams, etc. The two contrasting shades of the exterior cladding show the double occupancy of the building The offices occupied by the Cree government are covered with darker wood and that of the marine region of Eeyou with a lighter facing.
The glulam structure made of pine provides a warm finishing material, is an integral part of the interior design and is visible even from outside the building. Walnut siding was used to clad the interior walls. A panoply of maple doors warm and soften the contrasting glass and metal interior finishes, as well as frame the connection to the buildings’ natural surroundings. The use of wood delineates the occupancies of the building and acknowledges the client’s cultural connection to nature.