Location:                             Shelton, Washington, USA
Completed:                        July 2014
Building Area:                   981sm (10,561sft)

The Natural and Cultural Resource Center brings two important departments together under one roof. Historically the Squaxin Island Tribe have an important connection to the water around the Olympic Peninsula. The mission of this project is to develop a facility that both inspires and enables staff, community and visitors to become stewards of their natural and cultural worlds. The main building program includes open and enclosed office space, labs, archive, conference rooms, and change rooms. An outdoor barbecue area and main entrance foyer forms the heart of this facility inviting community involvement. Adjacent to the main building is a works compound with a boat storage garage and workshop.

The design is inspired by the low pitched plank long houses used before European contact and the topography of the Olympic Peninsula Mountains. The program of the main building is separated into two components. The Natural Resource program occupies the west wing and the Cultural Resource Centre occupies the east wing. Each wing is supported by a glulam post and beam structure with wood frame in fill. The lower entrance foyer focuses the view to the Olympic Peninsula mountains. All rain is captured in the sloping standing seam metal roofs and directed into rain cisterns.

The design process involved workshops which outline sustainable and programmatic objectives, and a sustainable charette to select an appropriate site. The steering committee is committed to the “new technology” of sustainable design as well as preserving the Cultural identity of the Squaxin Island Tribe. This project’s sustainable objectives identifies an important opportunity for the Squaxin Island Tribe to develop a LEED platinum building reinforcing the First Nations position as stewards of their cultural and natural environment.

Squaxin Island Tribe

Design Team
Alfred Waugh (Architect in charge), Kat Goska, Baktash Ilbeiggi, Jennifer Pritchard,

Design Build Contractor
Korsmo Construction

Structural Engineering: AHBL
Mechanical Engineering: Sunset Air
Electrical Engineering: Cross Engineers
Sustainable Building Consultant: Arup
Civil Engineering: AHBL
Traffic Consultant: Gibson Traffic Consultants
Commissioning Consultant: LNS