mcCallumSather, David T. Fortin Architect and Parkin Architects to partner on Biindigen Well-Being Centre

mcCallumSather, David T. Fortin Architect and Parkin Architects have been announced as the architectural partners on the Biindigen Well-Being Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.

Biindigen Team May 2024

The Biindigen Well-Being Centre in Hamilton, Ontario—the new home to De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre, Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services— will be designed by a partnership between architects mcCallumSather, David T. Fortin Architect, Parkin Architects, landscape architects SpruceLab, and land use planners Landwise.

The centre, located in the McQuesten Neighborhood, with a 6 per cent Indigenous population, is designed to cater to the community’s needs as a health center, residential development and community center.

The Biindigen Well-Being Centre is an Indigenous-led facility offering integrated health, family, social and housing services and supports dedicated to serving the Indigenous community. De dwa da dehs nye>s, recognizes that the McQuesten neighbourhood is in need of Primary Care Services, and as a result, has invited the McMaster University Department of Family Medicine to offer additional primary care services.

This initiative aims to provide a platform for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, bridges systems of knowledge and fosters a place of hope, healing, and outreach.

The project is founded on a collaborative approach and will feature mcCallumSather’s understanding and history of sustainable design, David T. Fortin Architect’s Indigenous design leadership, Parkin Architects’ healthcare focus, and SpruceLab’s knowledge of ecological restoration and Indigenous co-design; all of which underline the project’s commitment to Indigenous values. Landwise will continue to represent the Biindigen partnership as the professional land use planners.

“The centre is set to usher in a new era of wellness, care, and community engagement, symbolizing a significant step towards reconciliation. This project embodies the essence of collaboration, sustainability, and cultural preservation. We look forward to bringing to life a space that celebrates Indigenous culture while warmly embracing everyone. The Biindigen Well-Being Centre will be a testament to the strength of community care,” said Joanne McCallum, executive director and principal at mcCallumSather.

“What is most inspiring about this project is the Biindigen community-led vision for a project that embodies and celebrates their values and commitment to collective health and prosperity. This provides the foundation for a very special kind of place that will integrate Indigenous-led healing and teaching practices that respect and honour the Land, while serving the community for many generations to come,” said architect David T. Fortin.

The Biindigen Centre strives to minimize its ecological footprint. As a result, one of the design team’s primary objectives will be to employ the site’s natural resources and passive design approaches in order to reduce energy demand and promote water reuse. It also prioritizes the restoration of Indigenous landscapes, and reinforces its connection with the natural environment, as well as the commitment to preserving the work of the McQuesten Urban Farm with whom it will share its site.

“This exciting Indigenous-led, holistic initiative will be an incredible opportunity to help connect people to each other and to Mother Earth, showing this is possible even within an urban environment. Restoring ecosystems and community go hand in hand, as even the design process is healing, imagining what can be, what should be. The SpruceLab team is honoured to be able to support this incredible work,” said Sheila Boudreau, principal landscape architect + Planner with SpruceLab.