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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Housing Skidegate community: an alternative approach at solving the housing needs of Skidegate Indian Band LLanos, Ana Maria


Due to the pressure of increasing population growth in Skidegate, BC, large areas of land adjacent to the Skidegate Reserve have been purchased by the Skidegate Band to satisfy the community's housing needs. These areas, having been developed following a typical suburban subdivision approach, have considerably increased infrastructure costs and have spread development out to inaccessible areas isolated from the existing community. This project proposes an alternative to this type of development, it reduces the environmental impact of the development as well as its cost, and it attempts to re-introduce the concept of community and its cultural heritage. My interpretation of Haida cosmology operates at two scales in the project. On the site planning level, the development finds its precedent in the linear development of traditional Haida villages. In terms of the housing, the three axes that define the paths of supernatural power : central vertical axis (hearth), longitudinal axis (connection between the forest, the house and the water) and the transverse axis (link between the houses along the line) have served as vehicles for introducing elements of Haida traditional culture. The development occupies one-third of an area currently clear-cut, the remaining two-thirds would be re-forested. Clusters of houses are placed on either side of a central gravel road maintaining the road on one level. Within every cluster there are three zones: a parking/workshop area adjacent to the road; a common area shared by the houses of every cluster; houses arranged along an axis. Each house is given the same view opportunities, level of privacy and access privileges. Each cluster contains different housing units based on a prototype. The prototype has a central continuous post and beam structure that contains common areas, and two enclosed side bays for more private functions. The spatial continuity within the post and beam structure establishes the connection between the water, the house and the forest. This prototype responds to the diversity of family types within this community, and the technology allows for user involvement in the construction process.

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