Chandler Architecture

 

 

The Greenwich peninsula became part of Prince Edward Island National Park in February, 1998 in an effort to protect and preserve the unique natural and cultural resources found in the area. The fragile dunes, wetlands and habitats are very rare in North America and archeological evidence of both aboriginal and early immigrant settlements has been found.

In June of 2001, the Greenwich Interpretation Centre was opened as a place to educate people of all ages about the importance of protecting these precious resources. The building is situated in an open field adjacent to a new access road leading to beach dayuse facilities. The nature of the building and its rural setting dictated that the significant scale of the building be rendered in such a way as to give the image of a cluster of smaller buildings instead of a single large structure. In response to this problem, the building’s program was broken into components housed in an interconnected series of volumes, each characterized by forms inspired by traditional Island farm buildings. The main visitor’s orientation area is housed in the “farmhouse”, the Parks Canada office wing is in the “barns” and the focal point, multi-media theatre is in the “grain silo”. The main exhibit spaces are arranged along a central spine constructed with double height parallam columns, exposed parallam roof structure and wood decking and full height glazed curtainwalls. The building successfully situates itself in the landscape without imposing on this ecologically sensitive area. It allows the visitor focus inward at the displays and, by times, outward to the surrounding countryside.