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Bay Mills Indian Community Elder Housing - 7gen

Bay Mills Indian Community Elder Housing




Brimley, Michigan


Architecture and Structural Design

A pocket neighborhood for the Bay Mills Indian Community that builds upon Anishinaabek values, culture, language and tradition to create community for its elder tribal members.

This project consists of eight elder housing units, each of which is a single-family home with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached garages. Our design incorporated LEED principles of energy efficiency and sustainability, a core focus of the Bay Mills Indian Community and Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering. This project was conducted with our Bodwé partners: The Steelhead Engineering Company, WBK Engineering, and Blue Star Integrative Studio.

This development is designed to intentionally increase density, setting up a pocket neighborhood where elder residents can organically interact with one another for safety, companionship, support, and overall wellbeing. Instead of the more traditional cul-de-sac layout, this courtyard approach means that for residents, the front of each home looks out not onto car traffic or parking but instead onto a shared green space. Community nodes oriented along an axis stretching from east to west and the common green foster relationships and provide spaces where cultures can be shared and appreciated.

Our biophilic approach to design incorporated elements of nature throughout the pocket neighborhood. Site orientation takes advantage of prevailing winter winds, cool summer breezes off the waters of Lake Spectacle, and the directions of seasonal solstices.

Project Crew


Project Executive

J. Scott Winchester, AIA, NCARB

Project Manager & Tribal Liaison

Steve VandenBussche, AIA, LEED AP

Lead Architect

Ryan Wielenga, PE, MB

Lead Engineer

Stephanie Sokolowski, NCIDQ, LEED GA

Lead Interior Designer

Justian Crane, PE

Lead Civil Engineer