Lambton College


Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

TAWAW role

Architectural Design

architect of record

Tillmann Ruth Robinson Architects



Knowledge Integration

Lambton College’s Indigenous Outdoor Gathering space offers students a place to connect with culture on campus. The pavilion hosts ceremonies, cultural teachings, storytelling, sweat lodges, and pow wows. The design is set within a natural site, allowing students, faculty, and visitors to connect with Mother Earth.


Connection to Nature

The form is inspired by the local regional precedent, the wigwam structure, and comes complete with built-in seating and a central fire inside. The site chosen is an optimum area on campus, nestled in the forest, allowing for increased biophilic connections, to which are accentuated by the integration of natural materials and references to local flowers.


number of community engagements


Cultural Expression


Through engagement with the local community and Lambton College staff, a number of cultural associations were brought forward including: seven grandfather teachings, clan system, medicine wheel and four directions, and a connection to the sky.


Honorary Fellow

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is proud to announce that Wanda Dalla Costa, a prominent Indigenous voice and practitioner in North American architecture, has been awarded honorary fellowship for 2022. Wanda Dalla Costa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and was the first First Nation woman to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective, is based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the director and founder of Arizona State University’s Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program that brings together tribal community members, industry and multidisciplinary teams of university students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Dalla Costa is a prominent Indigenous female voice within the architectural profession–specifically within the academic sphere in North America.

YBCA's 100 Honorees: Wanda Dalla Costa

Indigenous Design Collaborative's founder and design director Wanda Dalla Costa was recognized as YBCA 100 list of change makers and cultural activists working at the intersection of art, social change and civic life.

Trailblazer Award: Wanda Dalla Costa

Presented this year as part of NZ20, the world's largest net zero conference and expo, the Trailblazer Awards celebrate leaders who are building a net zero future through their work in the carbon, energy, water, waste, transit and/or policy sectors.

St. Lawrence Center Competition Award 2023


Jeff Harnar Award
Unbuilt Architecture 2021