On Vacation – Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

On the way back from a brief weekend to visit my friend in Kelowna, we decided to stop off for a quick bite to eat at our favourite road-trip restaurant: McDonalds! We left the highway in Merritt and made a side trip to McD’s and I noticed an interesting building on the way.

It’s pretty easy to spot a building in Merritt that’s been well designed… so it wasn’t really a stretch to find this place, but I’m glad we did! So we picked up our “food” from McD’s and parked in the empty parking lot while we ate and then ventured off for a brief photo shoot.

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology is BC’s aboriginal public post-secondary institute.

Working from a basement in the downtown core of Merritt, three instructors taught thirteen students the basics of what is now our Environmental Resource Technology program. The program was taught in an environment that promoted traditional ways and fostered student success, a vision that sticks with NVIT today.

The new NVIT campus building (By Perkins + Will) is a clear representation of the original pedagogy during the first few instructional periods. The building nestles itself into the landscape and harmonizes with its surroundings while at the same time serves as a beacon and icon for the Institute – not an easy feat to stand out and blend in at the same time. The curved structure reveals itself from the landscape like it’s part of the bedrock and over time the natural elements revealed the structure to strongly promote its presence.

The bridged linkage between the two building’s acts as a gateway to the internal open courtyard loosely defined by the inward curve of the building but open to the upper hills.

The building clearly retains a strong connection between the interior and exterior condition. The thinness of the footprint spread over a longer landscape promotes an identity with its exterior environment and allows a full naturally lit interior.

Great work!



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