Graduate students and community volunteers work together to create an architecturally designed, accessible public amenity that is revitalizing an underused waterfront park.
Bamfield is a remote west coast community on the southern shore of the entrance to Barclay Sound on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. Once a logging and fishing community, it is now home to a renowned marine research centre. With the planned, new paved road, Bamfield is poised for an increase in tourism, so the community was looking for ways to develop public amenities with limited funds.
The community needed a place that was accessible and allowed locals and visitors alike to gather year-round in a covered space to view the beauty of this stunning coast.
The solution was the development of a pavilion in an underused waterfront park. The Bamfield Community Affairs Committee — comprised of local volunteers — spearheaded the project and 4VI delivered project development and creative envisioning services as well as funding support.
In Fall 2021, working with Joseph Dahmen, Associate Professor, 12 Graduate students of the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture spent three days in Bamfield meeting with the community to understand their needs and the role a pavilion could play.
The students were briefed on the importance of local, sustainable resources reflecting both the social and natural ecologies.
~ Prof. Dahmen
Inspired by the resources of the surrounding area, the students ideated on options and delivered a conceptual design brief and initial construction documents for a 750-square foot open air, covered pavilion reflecting its west coast surroundings.
The inventiveness of working with UBC architecture students allowed the community to achieve great design at an affordable cost. The Pavilion has now been constructed and it is a thriving example of a community-directed tourism initiative.