"Everyone doesn't have to do everything that the old Indians did in order to have a modern Indian identity. We don't have to have every male in the tribe do the Sun Dance. We need a larger variety of cultural expression today." ~ Vine Deloria Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux)
Douglas Cardinal, ( Metis Blackfoot, Kainai ) developed this striking design through a series of roundtable and visionary sessions with Cree tribal elders. The turret-type cocoon is based on the traditional sabtuan, which was used as a communal gathering space for everything from cooking, meeting and learning. The interior space is warm and full of laminated timber beams complemented by flooring. The cathedral-like space is finished in glass and stone that mimics the weather of the region, which can be both hard and cold.
Daybreak Star Cultural Center is a Native American cultural center in Seattle, Washington. As described by its parent organization, United Indians of All Tribes, it is simply an urban hub for Native Americans in the Seattle area. Located in Seattle's Discovery Park, the Center was once part of the Fort Lawton military base which was seized and occupied by a group of Native people in the early 70's. The elevation is cleverly disguised as a two halves of a traditional plank house (North Coast Salish) split by the an octagonal floor plan. The buttresses also are reminiscent of the plank house form. The interior is a series of log beams and columns that form a second story gallery and rooftop exhibition space.
The museum is visioned as a Turtle Island, the pre-contact name of the Americas, set on 4.25 acres and surrounded by simulated wetlands. It's exterior design inspiration are natural rock formations shaped by wind and water. If the building had a theme it would be wind and water. It is apparent in every crevice of the structure. The lobby's impressive gathering circle is a universal concept across Indian Country as it the place we meet as one people. Another feature of the structure is the dome, which simultaneously pays homage to both the Capitol building and a sacred kiva (Hopi). NMAI's placement on the Mall symbolizes hope for a more just relationship between the US government and American Indians moving forward.
The iconic 52,000 sq ft facility features contemporary materials reminiscent of traditional structures and gives a great deal of information concerning indigenous architecture from around the Americas within its design. The building itself focuses on Ute and Native Southwestern American Indian artifact collections as well as loaned materials from the National Museum of the American Indian. The building also features unique geometries symbolizing tribal shapes and extensive use of natural materials. Civil design elements include a partial green roof, bioswales, and gullies for stormwater management and a vernacular design plan.
The vision of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum Zone is that it would provide visitors an experience of a lifetime, complete with an Old West experience complete with stories of both cowboys and Indians. Meant to pay homage to the Mississippian mounds of the Southeast homelands, the ball field or ceremonial grounds give a kind-of futuristic feel to the land. When completed this complex in the heart of Indian Territory will house artifacts and folklore telling the history
of the state's 39 federally recognized tribes.
A projecting glass wall above the entry contains the images of four ancient petroglyphs found in the Alutiiq region, specifically on a stone found on Afognak Island. Modern artwork of cultural significance is integrated throughout the lobby and upper levels of the office building. The exterior uses a granite facing and aluminum composite panels for the building's skin. The design incorporates two exterior deck areas for office workers use. The steel and concrete structure was designed with post tension floor slabs, which helps to reduce the number of structural columns and allows significant flexibility for space reconfiguration within.