UBC Graduate Research

Lytton Samsara Hammill, John Patrick


Canada sits on a perilous edge amidst outcries of potential exponential environmental disasters. This is not a thesis for fashion, it is a thesis for survival: Lytton Samsara is a response to climate change in 2021. The emergence of Climate Change and its effect on the built environment is the most important issue of the 21st Century and in 2021 British Columbia, saw a substantial increase in environmental disasters. Record breaking heatwaves developed to large wildfires that destroyed large landscapes and small towns. Canadian must look to architecture to preserve British Columbian towns, and livelihoods. We must evaluate the realistic outcomes of forest fires and other environmental disasters by accepting their destructive nature and designing economically innovative structures. Climate change and natural disasters seem to be going hand in hand. This past year British Columbia experienced record-breaking heat and drought which lead to an unparalleled forest fire season. Fire destroyed the town of Lytton BC displacing all its residents and evacuating them hundreds of miles away to other cities with hotel rooms to house them. The unprecedented hot, dry summer was followed by torrential rains and floods that ripped apart essential highways and destroyed towns. The entire town of Merritt was evacuated to the same places where Lytton evacuees were still living. Destruction of small towns in BC is becoming all too commonplace. This calls into question our western values as buildings as permanent structures. The Shinto Shrines at Ise Jingu offer a different ideology on buildings as dynamic and impermanent. I offer here an alternate way to view post-disaster rebuilding and a proposition for bringing people back into the community. This project recognizes the Nlaka’pamux band, the Lytton First Nation is located on 14,161 acres of land divided into 56 reserves. The reserves are located at the site of the Indian Village of Kumsheen.

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