S7ISTKEN SERVICES CENTRE (Earth Lodge)
Lillooet, British Columbia, 1992
"Everyday is Earth Day."
The S7ístken Community Services Centre is a self-build administration building which used local Cayoosh Creek community talent in the construction process. The project name, S7ístken (pronounced "ishkin") is a reference to the great earth lodges (pithouses) of the past. The facility provides accommodation for a mix of community services including: health and welfare, land & fishery management, housing, and general administrative services. It is the first community project in Western Canada to use "beetle impacted" wood. All logs were harvested from the community's own wood lot. The design recalls elements of traditional vernacular.
S7ístkens are one of the oldest means of shelter in the western hemisphere—one of North America’s first environmental based structures. References to S7istken technologies and sustainable green elements incorporated in the overall design and structure include:
- Traditional roof form and structure in the Council Hall
- Indigenous materials—locally harvested logs, shale, cedar
- Selection of colour palette from local environment
- Roof structure relates to traditional cosmologies—main log rafters correspond to the four cardinal directions
- Energy-efficient design
- Self constructed by the Cayoose Creek Band