Wanuskewin Heritage Park + Meewasin Valley Authority + City of Saskatoon
Nestled on the Opimihaw Creek Valley and the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a National Historic Site, Interpretive Centre, Natural Area, and an active Archaeological site. The Site transcends the line between buildings and land to fulfill the vision of the founding Elders to tell the story of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples. The location, massing, orientation, and finishes of the Interpretive Centre are all reflective of this guiding principle, and the results combine these important historic elements with modern design elements.
aodbt is proud to have designed the original Wanuskewin Heritage Park which opened in 1992 and has remained a renowned example of prairie architecture inspired by First Nations Culture. The Interpretive Centre provides the region with a world-class facility for learning about and enjoying a culture intrinsically tied to its natural surroundings while in a structure that reflects the spirit of all five Saskatchewan First Nations and is sensitively integrated into the natural context.
Community engagement on the project was extensive, continuous, and crucial to the success of the project. In consultation with Elders, staff, and project stakeholders, the renewal project is sympathetic to the original design and the land and provides functionality for staff. The renewal project, completed in December 2020, includes the expansion of the Interpretive Centre, gallery spaces, and meeting rooms, as well as a refreshed restaurant, new playground, and trail connections.
Photos: King Rose Visuals / Matt Smith