Cultural Centre Built with SIREWALLS Wins Governor General’s Medal in Architecture
October 7, 2008
The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, nestled into British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, has been selected as a 2008 recipient for a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. In the built environment, this is the highest level of recognition in Canada. Presented by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Vancouver architects Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden will be honored at a ceremony on October 16, 2008 for the Nk’Mip Centre.
What makes this iconic building so unique, is mainly the beautiful rammed earth wall – the longest of its kind ever built in the world. SIREWALL and Salt Spring Island’s Terra Firma Builders collaborated with Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden to conceptualize a 5.5 metre high, 80 metre long rammed earth wall that combines local soils to blend in with the colourful hues in the Osoyoos desert.
A typical insulated rammed earth SIREWALL is 18″ to 24″ thick, stabilized with rebar and has 4″ of rigid insulation hidden in the centre of the wall. Heating and cooling is efficient and there is little or no maintenance with SIREWALLS. The materials are non-toxic and do not require chemical sealants or treatments. SIREWALLS have a distinctive, visceral connection to the earth that are not only stunning focal points, they are solid foundations with thermal mass beyond any other.
Until recently, SIREWALL Founder and environmental builder Meror Krayenhoff thought he would continue to build rammed earth homes on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, make a great living and retire there with his family. With mass awareness on environmental issues and demand for green building alternatives on the rise, Meror realized that SIREWALL had the potential to develop a new standard for healthy, efficient homes and buildings – a standard that could be proudly shared with like-minded visionaries around the globe.
Architect Bruce Haden of Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden also values the potential of SIREWALL and is pleased that the Nk’Mip Centre incorporates Meror’s work: “I hope you appreciate and recognize that this honour is largely in part to your work in fabricating an extraordinary wall, which I believe will be a landmark in the Okanagan for centuries.”
With its ecological and health benefits, combined with beauty and durability, SIREWALLS are ideal for commercial buildings and residential homes that will create a lasting legacy.
For photos and additional information, please contact:
Diana Mulvey, Tel: 604-340-1847 www.sirewall.com