Birds Hill Washroom and Shower Building

Client: Manitoba Conservation - Parks and Natural Areas Branch
Location: Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba
Size: 3,800sf
Stage: Completed 2011

Located fifteen minutes north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Birds Hill Provincial Park provides a year-round escape from city life. The Birds Hill Provincial Park Washroom and Shower Building is a seasonal building that serves over five hundred campground sites. The building’s program includes sixteen individual showers, two family showers, two barrier free showers, and both women’s and men’s washroom facilities.  

Driven by the existing park’s context, the design of the building developed around a path to the west, the existing site services, and the dense bur oak environment. The building is defined through two interlocking volumes. The larger volume is formed by three walls that take on a rough sawn wood texture, similar to that of the surrounding gnarled bur oak. Set askew from the vertical, the west wall forms a canopy over the adjoining path. Unlike other buildings throughout the park that project concrete roofs as a horizontal plane, the Washroom and Shower Building shifts the plane vertically to engage people on the path while providing shelter from the elements.

The second, smaller volume, characterized by a smooth concrete finish, contains the program and circulation spaces. The form of this smaller volume is carried through the interior of the larger volume by a masking of polycarbonate that compartmentalizes each shower, obscures vision from one shower to another, and provides natural light to filter into each shower. The naturally-lit polycarbonate and fabric-formed concrete provide a soft cover, which is a contrast to the rough, exterior concrete walls.

Birds Hill Washroom and Shower Building Project Team
Project Architect: Chris Daly