Location: Manistee, Michigan
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
New Governmental Center & Outpatient Health Center
October 2009 – April 2013
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ (LRBOI) new Governmental Center, located in Manistee, Michigan, centralizes the branches of government while consolidating departments. Charrettes with the project’s Task Force resulted in multiple ideas and schematic plans, working to achieve balance of tradition, function and convenience for visitors and employees.
Initial efforts focused on operations, development of an updated master plan and developing a building consistent with cultural traditions. LRBOI desired a central location, a campus-like layout and facilities to meet current and future needs. The goals: improved communication, operational efficiencies, and better service accessibility for tribal members. The design includes numerous low energy and sustainable features.
Importantly, the design is sensitive to honoring Tribal heritage, consistent with its traditions and culture. The result is unique and timeless while reflecting tribal values and history. Building orientation, material selection and interior décor were inspired by these traditions. Culturally appropriate artistic and design treatments infuse symbolism of the “Long House” of the Woodland Indians and the resting eagle, with extensive use of native Michigan materials. Earth, sky, water, stone and fire are evident in ceramics, skylights, waterfall, fire place/fire pits and materials throughout.
The Center’s 54,000 square feet uses the largest space for Little River Health offices, a Medicaid outpatient center of 11,000 square feet with health clinic, pharmacy and dental services. The new Center now centralizes executive, legislative and administrative departments.
Low Impact Design – stormwater management, rainwater catchment/reuse, permeable parking.
Geothermal system with carbon air filtration (to allow “smudging” tradition).
Key area skylights.
Resource efficient plumbing.
Modular glass walls, allowing flexibility and daylight interior spaces.
Raised flooring system with underneath air, electric, and communications
LRBOI’s goals were met – a beautiful, functional, efficient building sensitive to the Tribe’s cultural and historic heritage without being maudlin.