The First Nations Technical Institute on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve is among Ontario’s most successful post-secondary indigenous institutes. The New Administration and Academic Building project is an important part of its ongoing efforts to grow capacity, enhance student experience, and advance a First Nations-specific research agenda in areas such as indigenous food sovereignty, community development, environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

The New Administration and Academic Building is a bold, state-of-the-art Net Zero facility that speaks to FNTI’s long-term stewardship of land and natural resources and commitment to the mitigation of global climate change. The two-storey structure is co-located with the existing Aerodrome, integrating a range of other academic programs, social spaces and administrative functions with those of the popular Aviation School. Program spaces, some open, others enclosed, enfold a central, double-height atrium; these are complemented by three circular classrooms that support traditional learning practices.  Among the building’s most defining features is a single-storey demonstration kitchen and accompanying outdoor fire pit that animate the main entrance and support education in local food sourcing and native cooking. A regular grid and heavy timber structure afford large spans and open floorplate, increasing the flexibility and adaptability of the building as the curriculum evolves.

The building footprint is carefully curated to respect existing forested, open-field and wetland areas. Outside, new boardwalks and trails, ponds and waterways enrich the experience of the landscape. Inside, a water wall creates a calm, tranquil environment while a generous green wall enhances humidification and supports year-round cultivation of traditional medicinal herbs. This deep connection with nature together with rich applications of indigenous art and culture are favoured over overtly symbolic gestures to impart a sense of identity and ownership among occupants. A healthy building is intended to nurture the mental and physical wellbeing of learners.


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Building Size:

54,000 sq. ft.

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