Takhini Hot Springs (yaT’âyí hínı / Warm Waters)
Towards An Eco Village Resort
We developed a sustainable concept plan theme that embraces architecture, energy conservation and the natural environment to transform an existing hot spring facility into a vibrant destination eco village green resort, residential community and wellness centre (eco spa). The eco village resort recognizes (in both design and services) that human health is interconnected with environmental health. The project is targeted to become Canada’s first fossil fuel free zone.
For millennia, people worldwide have used hot springs for their restorative, natural healing and mystical powers. The Takhini Hot Springs therapeutic value was long recognized by local First Nations. Over the last century, the warm waters have soothed many Yukoners. In recent years, Takhini Hot Springs (THS) has become a popular venue for international and local visitors alike, not only to bask in the hot pools, but also to view the awe-inspiring Northern Lights in winter or experience the magic of the Midnight Sun during the summer months. The area’s stunning scenery, unique ecosystem, diverse climate, easy access and proximity to Whitehorse all contribute to the attraction of THS as a destination resort.
Planning for Sustainability
The Design Concept Plan for Takhini Hot Springs Resort provides a framework for the wise management of all THS Resort property to ensure that all growth integrates with and be sympathetic to the rural, wilderness setting.
The Green Resort Concept Plan provides specific recommendations for future physical development. It defines an “eco-based” vision for the Resort, and outlines the goals and desired future land use character within the lands. All facility and infrastructure development at Takhini Hot Springs Resort will be centred on an appreciation of the environmental, historical and cultural attributes of the area and will be designed to enhance the beauty and ecological integrity of the area.
Quite simply, "sustainability" is based on the notion that human activity takes place in the present without depleting natural resources or degrading the natural environment for the future. Sustainability is the guiding principle for future development.
It integrates planning, architecture and environmental design through such resort planning measures as:
• Efficient use of land
• Orientation and design of buildings to take advantage of solar gain for space and water heating
• Utilization of local resources, materials, labour & local participation, green construction
• Application of the best principles of thermal efficiency in all buildings, green building
• Using the sun and earth resources including wind, biomass, and the geothermal (geoexchange) resource as alternative energy sources
Environmental stewardship encompasses all aspects of Resort development and operations, from the initial design of new buildings to incorporate sustainable building practices, to effective waste management for the Resort including recycling and composting – all of which contribute to conserving the planet’s natural resources and protecting the environment. Waste reduction, water conservation, recycling, use of environmentally-friendly products in Resort operations, and sewage treatment strategies are all part the plan.
The Concept Plan
The Concept Plan is a comprehensive framework to guide future development at Takhini Hot Springs Resort. The goal is to attain a distinct eco-based identity for the Resort, based upon the historical, cultural and physical environment. The identity will be derived from a building vernacular which will use indigenous and recycled building materials, and incorporate energy efficient and passive solar technologies, with the intent to harmonize with the rural quality of the land.
The Plan recognizes the dramatic site features and the unique location of THS. Sun, shade, views, open space, retention of forested area, safe and attractive pedestrian environments, landscaping, and architectural forms are all priority factors to be considered in the sustainable planning and design of the proposed diverse range of facilities.
This concept plan emphasizes:
• the forest setting, rural feeling
• the lagoon
• spectacular mountain views
• trail linkages within the site
• easy access throughout the site
• high visibility of key Resort facilities
• proximity to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve
The use of clean renewable energy sources, along with sustainable building practices are promoted in the Takhini Hot Springs Interpretive Centre as a benchmark for all future resort developments. The resort is blessed with having the hot springs for its recreational and therapeutic value and also as a geothermal source of heating and cooling buildings. The building will be entirely energy self sufficient (net zero energy use). The geoexchange systems employed will be highlighted as a key component of the overall interpetive program - to help promote and establish the Takhini Hot Spring Resort as Canada's first "Fossil Fuel Free Zone".
The Interpretive Centre will be the focus of educational and interpretive programs for the entire Resort Village. he centre will include the well house utility functions and provide display information on the geology of the hot springs, unique ecosystem of the area, and local cultural history. As well, the sustainable design features employed ihn the building including geoexchange heating and cooling systems will be on display.
Takhini Hotsprings Eco Village Resort (Warm Water)
Interpretive Centre Slideshow
Interpretive Centre Video
3D Design Model