The Valleyview project is a new mental health facility in Coquitlam, British Columbia. This healing house provides a variety of outreach programs to youth in the area. It focuses on assisting individuals suffering from mental health issues and providing them with the support they need to be successful in society.
This 320,000-square-foot living area accommodates 38 beds and holds enough space for a variety of programs and recreational activity. These programs are for youth aged 12 to 17 with significant psychiatric and behavioral difficulties, as well as individuals aged 14 and older with developmental disabilities. The client prioritized a building that encourages a healing journey and creates a welcoming atmosphere for patients.
We needed a diverse team to realize the goals of this project. Riverview, the area where construction occurred, is home to historic Indigenous land with identified archeological sites. During the excavating and digging, there was a good possibility we’d unearth archaeological items, so involved an archeologist throughout the excavation.
We also collaborated with B.C. Housing, The City of Coquitlam and the Coquitlam First Nations. We collaborated with these stakeholders to protect the land and achieve success together.
We built this facility on property claimed by the Coquitlam First Nations. We connected with them to review design requirements and sought their valued opinions throughout the process. We engaged First Nations representatives in daily construction activities and decisions, with their site visits becoming crucial to the success of the project. We also incorporated a large First Nations artwork package into the facility. It included a welcome figure, a spindle whorl and a 40-foot canoe.
We solidified our strong relationship with the Coquitlam First Nations when they invited us to carry the traditional War Canoe and Blanket into the building, which is considered a great honor. First Nations peoples hold blankets in high regard and only gift them to those involved in a worthy endeavor.
We were lucky to work on a facility that has such a positive impact on so many lives, especially through the mental health youth programs. We had the opportunity to meet with the staff after the facility had been open for a few months, and we were pleased to hear that all individuals using the facility were greatly appreciative.