Design by M Charlyne Chiasson for a Doukhobor Building located on the Selkirk Campus in Castlegar BC ~ an ongoing vision of many to create a center where Peace Studies are offered as well as serving as a community center for ongoing transformational events.
* MIR ~ Russian word for unifying force or peace
The purpose of the renovation of an old Doukhobor building; which in itself is a dynamic part of Russian Architecture called a ‘double Dom’, which featured two identical buildings built side by side (* double) with a connecting structure. The actual dynamic heating cooling system inherent in these structures were ingenious.
The one that now is the Mir Center for peace is located on the Selkirk College site and had been give to the school in a gesture of peace making between the Sinixt and Doukhobors for transgressions that had taken place over time, and had not been wholly the fault of either peoples. As a sacred meeting site for the Sinixt in the past the area where the Selkirk College sits is in itself dynamic in terms of geomantic locations: as a sizable spit of land where three fast flowing bodies of water meet.
As a Designer, Feng Shui consultant and Geomancer this project exercised ever*y facet of my expertise. Working with a committee of 12 diverse people I was to create a physical space that would meet a varied criteria, that branched from college teaching, to community events and guest lecturers from around the world.
I worked with energetic land clearing, design and project management. The result was that of a lowered floor that reflected the more traditional aspects of the original architecture. The main floor had a solarium added to the original floor plan where the view to the west is spectacular. As a new feature it was important to incorporate its design as if it always belonged.
Many special features were added to the building such as the ability for mulit media presentations and teaching using the same technology. Kitchen spaces for community events, and an upper floor kitchen that incorporated an island that doubled as a multimedia teaching station for up to 10 students.
The lower floor mirrored the design of older Doukhobor buildings with its style of wood flooring, wainscoting and stairway details. Colors reflected a fresh approach. The upper floor reflected a more modern feel as all the small rooms were removed from the original design and the floor plan was to be open for boardroom style meetings, yoga, and community gatherings.
Furnishings were chosen for longevity, school room style diversity and ease of use and storage. Below are photos of the spaces in construction and completed.