kwa'lilas hotel

port hardy, bc

Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda'xw nation

Size: 85 guestrooms
Status: Completed

Barry Calhoun

Our brief was to design a modern boutique hotel to support international tourism to the unspoiled north of Vancouver Island. The Hotel is a for-profit venture of the Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda'xw nation to present their cultural stories and artwork to visitors.

We used traditional colours; grey, black and red in a contemporary way. A large copper art installation, depicting village life and the passage of time, was comissioned for the hotel lobby. We designed the lobby with this striking copper piece in mind – making the artwork a focal point for guests. In guestrooms, blankets with traditional designs and colours are used to accent crisp white bed sheets. Symmetrical animal carvings are incorporated into headboards, with subtle backlighting.

The design delivers the comfort and spatial expectations of a modern boutique hotel, set against unique traditional art and sculpture. It tells the story of its location and the history of its native people.