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Thompson Rivers University Library and First Nations House of Learning

In collaboration with David Nairne + Associates and Diamond Schmitt Architects, PFS Studio was the project landscape architect for this important campus development at Thompson Rivers University. Situated adjacent to the central campus commons designed by Cornelia Oberlander, this new facility was built to house the University Library and the First Nations House of Learning.

The landscape design features the retention of existing trees and the addition of indigenous species – ponderosa pine and douglas fir – lost to pine beetle devastation. Careful attention was paid to respectful plant selection, with the use of ethnobotanical species used by the Secwepmc First Nation, particularly the tule reed, sagebrush, kinnikinnick, native grasses and the wild nodding onion. This plant palette was used in the main entry water feature and seating steps, and the First Nations courtyard at the back of the building.

Another part of the landscape program was a green roof, designed with swathes of sedums that echo the at-grade planting. The paving pattern was designed as a symbolic representation of local weaving traditions and indigenous imagery for male and female; an abstraction of community in this central place of gathering and interaction.