Busby Perkins+Will - Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, British Columbia
Monday, 20 October 2008 23:51
A post-secondary facility that combines traditional aboriginal culture with cutting-edge sustainable technologies.
The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is one of Canada’s first post-secondary facilities shared by a native and non-native institute. It is funded by the Province of British Columbia, and located on a 17.5 hectare site on the north side of the City of Merritt in the BC interior.
Photographs courtesy of Nic Lehoux.
This first building on the new campus is designed to reflect the cultural characteristics of aboriginal students, and provide state of the art learning spaces as required by University College of the Cariboo (UCC). The 4,519 sq.m. building includes classrooms, faculty offices, social spaces, labs, bookstore, cafeteria, and library. Functional spaces were intentionally organized to eliminate any sense of hierarchy.
NVIT was originally formed as a private institution in 1983 by the Coldwater, Shackan, Nooaitch, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola bands of the Nicola Valley. During its first year of operation NVIT was housed in a basement with an enrolment of 13 students. The Institute grew steadily, evolving to a stage where a vision was developed for a Crown land site bordering Merritt. The master plan is based on a circular geometry, chosen due to its significance as a cultural symbol to the five nations occupying this land.
The design process involved intensive user group interaction and numerous tours of the site. The aboriginal elders played a major role in this process and ensured ideas such as the circle and the cardinal points were incorporated into the design of the building
Project Name: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
City: Merritt, BC
Completion Date: November 2000
Cost (Canadian Dollar) $7,656,000
Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2009 16:22