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Williams Lake First Nation Administration Building

  • Client
    Williams Lake First Nation
  • Location
    Williams Lake, BC
  • Size
    1,650 sq m
  • Completion
  • Photographer
    Brit Kwasney Photography


The Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) administration building is a dynamic two-storey hybrid mass timber structure that is home to offices, the Nation’s elected leadership, council chambers, exhibit space, and an archeological laboratory.

Despite its modest 1,650 sq m size, the use of transparency, light, and thoughtful programming ensures an impressive presence. The design challenge was to represent past values and placemaking, while simultaneously creating a warm and modern feel that embodies contemporary WLFN values and identity. Selecting an exposed mass timber structure and using wood throughout the space helps bring that vision to life. 

WLFN wanted a modern and efficient building that would serve multiple purposes. Its primary function is the Nation’s office space; this is situated in a two-storey interconnected atrium that features local artwork and natural daylight. The entryway focuses on greeting visitors, the gallery space, and the council members’ experience, while the back-of-house provides space to create art and work with historical artefacts.

This highly collaborative project underwent numerous design revisions, and even a site relocation, in order to meet budget and schedule requirements. WLFN and the project team worked together to deliver an impressive building that can serve as inspiration for other First Nations groups.