STS'WAN HOUSE (Salmon-Place of Foam)
Bridge River, BC,
Designed 1988-89 (unbuilt)
"WATER is the driving force
~ Leonardo da Vinci
The building is designed for a narrow strip of land on the banks of the Bridge River near the famous native fishing rocks at the confluence of the Bridge & Fraser Rivers—"the place of foam". As they have for thousands of years, local St’át’imc fishers come to the Xwisten fishing rocks to catch salmon. Fishing is often done in a spectacular, dramatic manner with fishers perched on rocks above the roaring rapids. Visitors to the area are fascinated by the fishing and drying activities that take place. Sts’wan House (Salmon House) is intended to meet the growing tourism demands on this heritage site and provide the Bridge River First Nation (Xwísten) a fishing station to manage their traditional food resource.
The design concept recalls the fishing racks scattered along the banks of the river and the platforms utilized from before the turn of the century. It features a rendition of a revered rock painting by local artist and former Chief Saul Terry. The main level accomodates a restaurant, crafts and interpretative area. A fishing station, general store, public washrooms for fishers, tour office and service spaces are located on the lower level.