AKWE:GON – The Grand River Longhouse

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    Plan drawing of first and second floor
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Site map
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Section
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Section 2
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Elevation collage of building with program callouts
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Spatial use diagram
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Axonometric view of project in relation to the different directions and their attributes
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
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    Elevation of building showing exterior space use in different weather conditions
    Madeleine Lachance / Michelle Li / Vic Mantha-Blythe / Shima Mohammed / Rebecca Zarins
Author(s)
Madeleine Lachance
Michelle Li
Vic Mantha-Blythe
Shima Mohammed
Rebecca Zarins
Project Date

The Grand River Longhouse is situated on the high ridge overlooking a bend in the Grand River. Surrounded by community gardens, including the Rare Charitable Community Food Bank, this longhouse takes inspiration from the material, program, cosmology, and form of the Haudeneseaunee longhouse. It pays respect to the traditional knowledge and culture of the Six Nations. Our longhouse brings together twelve families. Families that used to rely on the charity of the Rare Gardens Food Bank for sustenance are now invited to live for free in the longhouse, where they can grow and harvest their own food. Children, parents, animals, and elders join together to share resources, conversation, care and support, and food. 

In plan, the shared central gathering space is like that of the Grand River, where people flow like water from east to west passing through the central fire. On either side, like that of the two row-wampum belt are the residences running parallel to each other. Where the Haldimand tract runs 6 miles on either side of the grand river, our longhouse has 6 families on either side of the central flow of circulation. On the East and West sides of the houses are the entrance vestibules. They are the entryways and exits – sunrises and sunsets.