Pokagon Band Language & Culture Building - 7gen

Pokagon Band Language & Culture Building




Dowagiac, Michigan


Full Architectural and Engineering Services

Seven Generations Architecture and Engineering provided architectural and engineering design service for the construction of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Language and Culture Center. Phase I of a multi-phase building approach consist of a 5,000 sq. ft. administration building with a classroom for language and cultural teaching and administrative offices for Cultural Staff and Native Language speakers. The phase also included 2,400 sq. ft. multipurpose building consisting of flex space for gatherings and cultural teaching such as basket making, and a Tribal Historic Preservation Space. This space included archival facilities and mechanical equipment.

The building entrance and main hall are meant to evoke a remembrance of a traditional long house, and are made of indigenous wood. This, combined with the natural finishes being used throughout the building, adds a sense of nature into the building. The design also uses materials such as stone that are native to the specific project site, and includes plants that are not only region, but specific to the site's history. This approach not only ensures survival of the native species, but moves the land closer to its natural state.

The facility also provides a tornado shelter for the building’s occupants made of reinforced concrete. The archival space is built to meet the National Archives and Records Administration (1571) guidelines as well as the FEMA guidelines.

The crew on the project.


Project Executive

Scott Winchester, AIA

Senior Project Manager

Eric Phillips, PMP, LEED AP

Project Manager

Jim Keefer, LEED AP

Architectural Designer

Steve VandenBussche, AIA, LEED AP

Project Architect

Providing a place of healing and restoration.

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