The Sault Ste. Marie Garden project
The Sault Ste. Marie Garden project is in essence a 21st century modern day cultural interpretation of a wigwam - a dome like structure that the Anishinabe tribe of Sault Ste. Marie built - now interpreted for a community health and sports hall. Before colonization, the wigwam dominated the topography of the Sault Ste. Marie landscape. The Anishinabe were a respectfully notorious fishing settlement, and moved from place to place with these dome-like structures popping up everywhere since they are easy to build.
Looking to the present day, this project is guided by the five main governing principles created by the Anishinabe. This results in a Living Building Challenge focused building pertaining to self governance through water collection, natural ventilation (active living walls), connection to nature, and a very dominant presence of connecting the past, present, and future together. The heptagonal nature of the building is influenced by the Seven Sacred Teachings of the Anishinabe, which in turn allowed the project to create a dome like structure throughout each space, connecting back to the wigwam form. Mass timber glulam portal frames and other glulam structural elements are used throughout to emphasize the connection back to nature, but also as a response to current trends moving towards mass timber construction as an emphasis on sustainable architecture.
James is a graduating (undergraduate) senior in Architecture at LTU, with the majority of the Master’s of Architecture program completed at the time of this exhibition. He has an interest in healthcare design and biophilic design after he has taken graduate special topics classes. Throughout his work, he emphasizes an interest in more walkable cities and places, with an interest in Transit Oriented Design (TOD) along with connections to a historical and/or cultural context. At the time, he currently works at 123NET as a Fiber Systems Designer for Michigan businesses, and is looking to expand more into an architecture role at a firm.