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The Jeremias Sillitt Community Centre is comprised of a variety of community functions and spaces including an Elders Gathering space, library, community and youth centre with kitchen, gymnasium and fitness centre. The facility is also designed to serve as an emergency shelter, if needed.
Each of the functions can be accessed from the brightly lit entrance foyer. The foyer is enclosed with a double set of doors to protect the breezeway from cold arctic air upon entry. To the left is the Elders Gathering space with maximum windows to allow visibility of the activities in the Centre. Directly in front is the breezeway access to the gymnasium, as well as the library. To the right is access to the Community Centre, as well as the gymnasium change rooms and auxiliary spaces.
The facility was placed on the townsite to maximize views of the surrounding woods and sun exposure, as well as drainage. The design allows for maximum natural light enhanced by highly light-reflective exposed ceiling vapour barrier. EnergySaver roof insulation system with R50 value was used to increase the comfort of the space in this Northern town. The open space of the Community and Youth Centre was a design challenge, as well as for the modular components, since all needed to be designed to take four (4) feet of snow load for a duration of at least 6 months. All interior finishes were selected to be low maintenance to account for the difficulty of O&M in such a remote location. Special seamless Pulastic Classic 90 rubber flooring was used on the ball court. The exterior elevations are clearly defined and brightly colored in order to reflect the diverse functions happening inside, while also being “cheerful” in this long winter environment.
Nain is the northernmost town in Labrador and is only accessible by boat or plane. Logistical challenges are significant. Due to the remote location and limited and costly access to supplies and labor, modular construction was the perfect solution for this community facility. Shipping season is also very short, so the modules needed to be trucked to port, efficiently shipped by the ocean going barge, and rapidly unloaded by a separately shipped crane. Units length was reduced to allow for the undulating road.