Visitors of Southlands will be greeted by its Discovery Centre which has been designed to showcase the master-planned community’s promise of agricultural urbanism. From its modern take on barn architecture to double-storey apartments situated above a coffee shop, the Discovery Centre is the first of multiple mixed-use buildings in the Market District that will house residents as well as artisan shops, cafes and restaurants.
The main building at the Discovery Centre conveys Southlands’ ethos of quality design and connection to the land through its bold use of modern mass timber materials. Glued Laminated posts and beams, along with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, allow for previously unachievable open spans and clean lines, while staying true to the overall Southlands vision of simple, honest and renewable materiality.
Located across Market Avenue from the restored dairy barn, the Discovery Centre echos the community’s historic roots. Residents of the apartments will likely be organic farm managers cultivating mixed crops that will end up on dining tables in homes and restaurants.
The building’s neo-traditional approach to agriculturally inspired architecture is a first in Canada and beyond, just as Southlands will be the first agrihood of its kind in Canada and the largest agrihood in North America. The Discovery Centre will unveil Southlands’s exciting modern take on the traditional agricultural village, already taking shape.