Thursday night, 7Gen received the 2017 Honor Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for their work on the Native Justice Center. The Honor Award is the highest award that AIA bestows upon architectural work.

The 7GAE Team (from left to right): Shane Cromwell, Alex Hokkanen, Steve VandenBussche, Stephanie Sokolowski, and Sara Tripp.

“It has truly been an honor,” says Jeremy Berg, Managing Director at 7Gen, “to work with the [Pokagon] Band on the project, and also to be recognized by the architectural profession for design excellence.”

A juror described the design as, “a clear concept, carried out with simple forms and appropriate material.” He added, “What struck me about this project was that the circular plan – with the program spaces around the central courtyard – showed a clarity of organization. The curved parking lot also supports the overall theme.”

7Gen was commissioned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi to design a cutting-edge native justice center to serve the Pokagon Band tribal members. Native Justice is focused on the healing of the individual and the healing of the community as a whole. The Pokagon Band is developing an initiative to restore the spirit and ideals of native justice within the Pokagon Community.

Native Justice, or more commonly referred to as Peacemaking, is an alternative route to bring about justice. The new justice center will allow staff to provide the proper spaces for individuals to participate in peacemaking efforts. The courtroom and the surrounding support spaces will focus on cultural aspects of justice compared to a more punitive western judicial tradition.

7Gen was previously awarded the Honor Award in 2015 for the Pokagon Health and Wellness Center.