2002 Governor General’s Medals for Architecture: Moorelands Camp Dining Hall, Lake Kawagama, Dorset, Ontario

Shim-Sutcliffe Architects

The Moorelands Camp is located in a northern Ontario landscape of abundant lakes, rocky peninsulas, remote islands, and dense pine forests. Accessible only by boat, the camp for economically disadvantaged children from Toronto is a non-profit organization that provides a wilderness opportunity for those who could not otherwise afford one.

The dining hall, the central gathering space for the camp, is located in a clearing in the woods, and the design transforms the typical camp building type from a dark internalized space to one with direct physical and visual connections to the landscape. Twelve glulam trusses combine with small scale dimensioned lumber and light steel elements to create a simple wooden tent. The main space is 36 feet wide and 100 feet long and the roof extends beyond the exterior building wall by two bay widths in order to provide a large covered outdoor porch. A motorized greenhouse glazing system running along the roof ridge brings the light in and provides flow-through ventilation.