Richard Kroeker


West Wing, Eskasoni, Unimaqi

The West Wing is a meeting room extension to the home of elders Albert and Murdena Marshall in the Mi’kmaq community of Eskasoni in Nova Scotia. It was built to serve as elder counselling space and a classroom for the Mi’kmaq studies Integrated Science Program of Cape Breton University where Murdena Marshall was professor. It was built subsequent to the Beaverbank project as further development in applying traditional historic approaches to building by woodland indigenous cultures to contemporary standards and needs. As such it became the birthplace of the Two-Eyed Seeing concept developed by Albert and Murdena, to which it responds by understanding indigenous material culture in terms of structural and material science. The construction system quantifies the structural capabilities and dimensional tolerances of the bentwood system. The West Wing was the first application of the bentwood truss and serves as the prototype for Pictou Landing Health Centre. It was built by students at Dalhousie University School of Architecture under the guidance of Albert Marshall and Richard Kroeker.