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The wind blows through it : design proposal for a Natural Capital Centre in the Squamish valley Mashig, Erika J.

Abstract

This project proposes ideas for a Natural Capital Centre in downtown Squamish. The District of Squamish and Ecotrust have stated that the Centre will serve as a tangible demonstration of the town’s commitment to sustainable thought and action, including interpretive information related to the proposed windfarm on Alice Ridge. Squamish has a reputation for being a very windy place. It is a word adapted from Sko-mish, the name of the native nation who first occupied the territory and has a general meaning of “strong wind”, or “birthplace of the winds.” The design solution for the NCC aims to tie these two ideas together, demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability and reinforcing the identity of Squamish as the "birthplace of the great winds." The project framework explores the relationship between renewable energy and people- how people understand and experience natural forces of place, and the relationship between renewable energy and place- how local wind data may be translated into architectural design, The proposed design interventions range from the fundamental organization of the site to small-scale detailing of the sensory experience of the wind. The intent is to inspire a multitude of other ways to integrate the Squamish winds in future developments that strengthen a ’sense of place’ in downtown Squamish.

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