Image of the Yukon Visitor Reception Centre designed by Calgary architect Sturgess Architecture.

The Yukon Visitor Reception Centre

Government of the Yukon Territory



Situated on the Alaska Highway, adjacent to Whitehorse, the Yukon Visitor Reception Centre was designed to welcome and inform visitors to the Yukon of the territory’s key tourist destinations.

Symbolizing the Yukon territory, the Visitor Centre must be immediately recognizable and thereafter, memorable. In form it is inspired by northern imagery: a fish skeleton; a kayak frame; an airplane wing. A long, narrow structure, parallel to and mediating between the highway and the mountains, it consists of a tent-like entry porch, an oasis-like wash pavilion, an exhibit hall, and a curved theatre. Through full height thermal glazing in the exhibition hall, mountain views are unveiled. Curved glulam beams are exposed inside and out, as a clear definition of the building’s structure. The centre’s curved copper roof is highly visible from the highway. The wash pavilion interrupts the structure as a beacon of welcome. The project won the Governor General’s Medal and the American Institute of Architects Western International Design Award.

*in association with FSC Groves Hodgson Manasc Architects