Location: Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
This schematic design effort created a sustainable vision for a new permanent home for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (SCTC). Pre-design work included confirming a goal to be a sustainable model to the Tribe, other Tribal Colleges and the neighboring community. As a result, college leaders determined that the project would accept the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a holistic building standard calling for the creation of projects that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture, the flower.
The SD team kick-off included development of the project’s Guiding Principles, modeled after the Seven “Grandfathers” of the Anishinaable people:
NIBWAAKAAWIN Wisdom – inspire learning
ZAAGL’LDIWIN Love – serve the 7th generation
MINAADENDAMOWN Respect – be restorative
AAKODE’EWIN Bravery – earn the right to occupy the land
GWAYAKWAADIZIWIN Honesty – be authentic
DABAADENDIZIWIN Humility – take only what you need
DEBEWIN Truth – everything is connected
The proposed campus is sited on a 46-acre abandoned agriculture field located adjacent to a 60-year old woodlot, Miller’s Pond, and the tribal senior care center. The overall approach is to restore the site to pre-European settlement hydrology and landscape.
The facility is designed to be net positive – generating more energy than it consumes. This will be achieved through super-insulation and triple-glazing, thermal storage and radiant mechanical systems, daylighting, passive solar strategies, and natural ventilation methods. Electrical energy will be generated by a 50/50 split-generation of on-site PVs and wind turbines.
The 70,000 SF education building will house the college. Inspired by Anishinaabe vernacular architecture, the construction materials include reclaimed brick, rammed earth, and shou-sugi-ban.
The two-story Town Hall is the heart of the campus; connecting the building’s different functions while providing community gathering space. Views open to the 60-year old forest to the north, revitalized native landscape to the south and the all-season courtyard which separates the classroom wing from the student resource center and faculty / administrative offices.
The resulting project recognizes the tribe’s commitment to education andthe environment as it reflects their 7th Generation focus of perpetual self-sufficiency, resilience, and community.