A home away from home in the Okanagan Valley.
The new student residence at Okanagan College’s main Kelowna campus will be a ‘home away from home’, evolving the dynamic of traditional on-campus living into a more reflective connection. This warm, six-storey wood-frame structure features 182 units / 216 beds and flexible indoor and outdoor multi-use spaces, integrated through natural light opportunities that permeate the building in all directions. Upon completion, the residence will become a model in the Okanagan Valley for sustainable energy leadership and indigenous design consultation.
Inside and outside, human connection is a dominant theme throughout. The residence heavily focuses on creating several gathering spaces for students, including a celebration space, an area dedicated to a ‘talking circle’, a garden with plants native to the Okanagan region, and outdoor cooking amenities. The generous use of wood throughout speaks to the important relationship between nature and those that live at the residence. At ground level, the conjoined structure of the club room and play room mimic the form of a ‘leaf’, speaking to the importance of the circle – a shape of special importance to indigenous cultures. This primary gathering space is permeated by glazing that connects the student to the natural environment, allowing for reflection and comfort. The ‘leaf’ can accommodate a range of gathering and ceremonial activities that foster mentorship, connection, and healing.