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May 24, 2013

Suquamish Museum

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider [enlarge]
Suquamish Museum is nestled among cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir trees.

Location: Suquamish

Architect: Mithun

Agency/owner: Suquamish Museum

General contractor: Tim Ryan Construction

The Suquamish Museum is designed to preserve the heritage and artifacts of the Suquamish people while creating an interactive environment that proclaims the living history of the tribe in a sustainably designed facility.

Nestled among cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir trees, the 11,000-square-foot museum is part of a cultural enclave that includes Chief Seattle’s grave, the House of Awakened Culture, a veterans’ memorial, community dock and Old Man House Park.

The design process involved extensive community outreach with elders, tribal members and the museum board. The building has resulted in a dramatic increase in museum visitors and awareness of the tribe’s past, present and future.

Jury comment: “This building type needs to be simple, with great details. It is tough to simplify a building to make it understandable, but this building does that. This is a good, well-crafted and uncomplicated design.”

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