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Somba K'e Civic Plaza

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Photo Credit: CSLA


Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans

Case study compiled in 2019


Project: Somba K'e Civic Plaza

Type of Urban Strategy: Indigenous

Type of ProjectCivic Park Revitalization

LocationYellowknife, Northwest Territories 

Date Designed/Planned: 2008

Construction Completed:  2010

Designer: Nadji Architects & Lombard North Group Ltd. 


Somba K’e Civic Plaza was created in collaboration between Nadji Architects and Lombard North Group Ltd., on the site of a vacant field on the shores of Frame Lake. This project is an excellent representation of urban design that uses social and community engagement in the design process to work towards fulfilling the desires of the affected communities. The new plaza is now used for hundreds of events, through all seasons- giving the community a place to gather and celebrate their culture and progress as a city. The designers were sure to incorporate elements of design inspired by Indigenous history, specifically relevant to the history of the site and the communities who inhabited the land for many years prior. The indigenous inspired design gives the community a strong sense of place to retreat to while the City of Yellowknife continues to grow and move forward. Through the application of sustainable design principles, the designers were able to create a year-round gathering space, that responds to the desires of the community for more sustainable development. The city of Yellowknife’s senior administrators view the new plaza as ‘a jewel in the heart of the city’ (Nadji Architects, 2018).

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