Culture shapes the feelings, thoughts, and actions of every person. It is therefore essential to create culturally relevant spaces, particularly for groups whose cultural heritage has been historically marginalized. This project displays our team’s ability to deliver an exciting variety of creative, innovative parks and open space elements that are rich in educational opportunities, and support cultural sustainability.
The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians retains a close tie to the land surrounding the Stillaguamish River. Ancestral Stillaguamish celebrated the journey of life and lived from the resources provided by the land through hunting, fishing, and crafting items needed for survival. Their relationship with and appreciation for the environment lives on today and imbues the master plan for village development.
The goal of the development is to bring the Tribe's members home to a community that reflects their culture and values in a meaningful way as they continue to grow and nurture their community. With this in mind, the design team collaboratively conducted an in-depth series of community charrettes to determine what would draw the community to the site and recreate connection to the area.
This dynamic conservation village will be nestled within 80-acres of preserved and enhanced forest. Centered on a large community parkway system that weaves the story of their connection to sky, land and river into areas for large community gatherings, neighborhood parks, open space, trails and an adventure nature playground. Situated around the park system are single family homes, young adult townhouses, supportive elder housing with a therapeutic elders garden, and community amenities including a fitness & pool center, a family wellness center and canoe carving facility.
Social and emotional health is also an important consideration for this tribal community, particularly in the way they care for and honor tribal elders. Elder housing on the site includes independent and supportive housing options that bookend a therapeutic elders’ garden with walking loops, viewing garden, games green, and native plants that provide seasonal color and foraging opportunities. The garden and landscaping not only provide aesthetic enjoyment but also a variety of social spaces and a way for elders to keep their eyes on community activities.
“Your team has done an unbelievable job and your approach has been fantastic! You can feel the positive buzz in the sidebars now. Since your arrival, people feel more motivation about this community housing project because you have provided so many positive options to consider. Bringing forward your innovative ideas has been very effective. Thanks for all your hard work getting this community back together!” Casey Stevens, Stillaguamish Tribal Planner
2015 - Current
The West Studio