Storylines Cultural Centre

Leslie Viske & Rob Gairns | Comprehensive Studio 2013

Alan Collyer | Faculty Supervisor



This project began with a fascination with the ways aboriginal cultures use storytelling as an outlet for passing on knowledge, and history, and a quote from Douglas Cardinal: “When we lose one of our elders, we lose our books”. We decided to look into the ways storytelling could impact our building both formally, and programmatically, and became fascinated with the way a story can become a living breathing thing. The program became a hybrid of community centre, and research/documentation, with an addition of elders residence and studio space. we established a design statement:

” The preservation and celebration of a non-material component of aboriginal cultures: storytelling. The focus of the building and site is on the transition between the unrefined and refined elements; as a story ages, it has moments of individuality, and moments of purity and alignment”.

We explored moments of convergence and separation in the architecture through through a series of pathways, interior corridors, and curved walls that interacted with each other and the ground plane. The siting of the building, the panels around the perimeter, and the perforation strategy of the curved scrim walls allowed use to explore the notion of increasing refinement and focus as it related to the “storylines”.