kobayashi + zedda

Dawson City Water Treatment
Dawson, Yukon

Kobayashi + Zedda Architects was retained by Associated Engineering to design a new building to house the necessary infrastructure to provide the City of Dawson with safe and clean drinking water while adhering to the requirements of the City of Dawson Heritage Bylaw. The project site is surrounded by several, important heritage works including the Old Territorial Administration Building (OTAB) and the historic Black Residence (1901) which sits across Turner Street from the subject property. The Black Residence is formally registered with Canada’s Historic Places.
Buildings designed in Dawson City’s core area (Downtown Heritage Management Area) are subject to heritage design guidelines, empowered by the Heritage Management Bylaw and created to preserve the historic context of the Edwardian–based building stock.

For new construction, the Bylaw asks proponents to consider replicating the external design of any building that may have existed on that particular site during the Gold Rush period. While no evidence was found of a former water treatment plant in Dawson during the Gold Rush era. One can only theorize that the facility would have been utilitarian in structure and function.
In the absence of a historic precedent for the building, the Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) requested that the architects pay homage to the former Pacific Cold Storage building that once sat near the site for the new building.

KZA was able to draw on several architectural elements of the former building and incorporate them into the modern-day water treatment plant. These elements included a large, gable roof, canvas window awnings and a board and batten cylindrical water tower.