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Kanawana Centre

Housing and Community Environment

Client: YMCA
Architect: L’OEUF
Structural Engineering: Jan Vrana

The new development of Camp Kanawana was designed to make better use of the existing property. Recognized as a valuable natural resource in the eyes of the community, the site had to be enriched and designed in a sustainable manner.

The main objective was to create a physical infrastructure that would introduce new traditions to the camp, promoting community living and highlighting the idea of “living delicately on our planet”.
We have integrated many of the YMCA’s cherished goals into our thinking and work.
The promotion and encouragement of active living and the appreciation of the outdoors for all, especially for youth.
We wanted to make the site accessible to a larger and more diverse group of users so that as many people as possible could enjoy a year-round experience in nature. This was done by imagining a physical separation that was large enough to not lose the sense of wilderness.
We had to find a harmonious balance between forest, prairie, wetlands, lakes and human facilities such as buildings, campsites, trails and other infrastructure.
We were able to design, manage and build the program to conserve and restore natural sites where necessary.
In envisioning and implementing a sustainable design for the camp, we also chose to share our knowledge and expertise in order to develop a sense of responsibility for the natural environment by using the site as an outdoor learning classroom.
Overall, we are pleased to have participated in promoting a sense of responsibility for the surrounding community by emphasizing respect for the natural environment and the diverse population enjoying the site.