Vancouver Island Visitor Centre showcases the region's amenities and attractions and welcomes visitors to the Comox Valley
The building program of 622 m2 divides naturally into two components - the visitor services and the exhibition hall. These two elements are clearly expressed in the architectural parti, with the former component in a lower building with a butterfly roof, board cast concrete and exposed timber framing. The latter is a tall elliptical drum, clad in cedar, with a circular, black box exhibition hall within. The interstitial area between the exterior form of the ellipse and the interior form of the circle contains miscellaneous spaces for exhibition alcoves, mechanical shafts and exit vestibules. The natural materials, day lighting and the river that runs through the building all contribute to the essential message of the Visitor Centre.
Opened in 2012, the new Vancouver Island Visitor Centre showcases the region's amenities and attractions and welcomes visitors to the Comox Valley. Located just south of Mount Washington it is a central hub for visitors and business groups, offering tourism information, discovery experiences, and the opportunity for local business to showcase their industries and products. Stakeholders in this project include: Comox Valley Economic Development Society, Comox Valley Regional District, Municipalities of Cumberland, Comox and Courtenay, Komoux First Nations, and Trilogy Properties Inc.
The building has become a local icon, easily recognized, well known and much discussed throughout the Valley.
The visitor centre, with its distinctive drum-shaped and wood clad exhibition hall, was one of 41 nominations for the best building of this year accolade. The awards were judged in various categories, and the centre's first was for excellence in the ‘institutional' group. The judges then picked out the overall winner from all 13 categories. This building recently won thefirst prize overall at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board awards.