Certified Passive House DesignerPassive House Canada Member



Yucalta Lodge

Campbell River BC
Completed 2002
Merrick Architecture Borowski Sakumoto Fligg Limited
James Kerr Project Architect

Yucalta Lodge is a 100 resident complex care facility located on a wooded site in Campbell River. Conceived as a “community of communities” under one roof, its design and operational model embraces a revolutionary concept in the delivery of residential care services in that it is resident focused and not institutional in nature. Its single level design features residents, each with their own private room and bathroom, organized into small households of 12-14 which share common living, dining, kitchen-activity and laundry spaces for daily use and which have their own entrances for family and guests. These households are paired up to form 3 separate “cottages”, each configured around an outdoor courtyard with secure, accessible gardens and pathways for resident use. Common to the entire complex is a large “yucalta”, an indigenous people’s word meaning gathering place, for socializing and special events with a general store and teashop adjacent. Other common spaces include administration offices, a central kitchen, stores and staff facilities.

Although large in its building footprint, the complex is purposely reduced in scale by treating it as a series of simple gable roof forms linked together in an organic geometry and fitted into the gently sloping site. This arrangement is punctuated by entry canopies and taller elements housing mechanical services and the central yucalta, frankly expressed with peeled pole and exposed timber structural members. Exterior cladding is painted fibre-cement board with battens and untreated cedar shingles. The residential lodge character is developed further on the inside thru the use of similar timber elements, wood-like flooring and common area cabinetry, wainscoting, and distinct colour schemes to assist orientation within cottages.

As project architect, Jim collaborated with Paul Merrick and Bette Adams on design and was responsible for overseeing all project phase services while at Merrick Architecture Borowski Sakumoto Fligg Limited. The design process involved extensive consultation with client, staff and resident working groups to translate the resident focused aspirations into a fully functional scheme. Project challenges included meeting Ministry of Health multi-level care guidelines, budget requirements and value engineering.

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