Mahlum Architects’ Muckleshoot Smokehouse Receives 2014 AIA NWPR Merit Award

Photo credit: Benjamin Benschneider

Photo credit: Benjamin Benschneider

The Smokehouse designed by Mahlum Architects for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has received a Merit Award from the AIA Northwest & Pacific Region (AIA NWPR).

The Smokehouse is located on the Muckleshoot Reservation in Auburn, WA and was completed in August, 2013. It is the first longhouse on the Muckleshoot prairie in more than 100 years.

The AIA NWPR jury commented that they “loved the softness of the interior expression against the milled logs. It creates great quality of life.”

The Smokehouse is dedicated to the practice of a traditional spiritualism known as Seowyn. The Muckleshoot Tribe worked toward realizing the Smokehouse for over a decade, and it is considered a critical step in the growing revival of their traditions. The 16,600 SF facility houses the congregation’s gatherings and ceremonies and receives guests from the region’s larger Smokehouse community.

Peeled log construction and a long, gabled roof are reverential to the traditional longhouse structures of the Southern Salish peoples. Cedar columns stand sentinel in the ceremony rooms, their quiet strength connecting the congregants to this heritage. Cedar planks span between the columns sheltering the occupants from the chill winds outside. Doug fir was harvested for the logs, rafters and decking of the roof structure.

The dining hall forms the heart of the building. Where the log structure in the ceremony rooms embodies the raw character of those spaces, the dining hall juxtaposes deep red tinted plywood, slender wood slats, and woven pendant lights, accentuating subtle movements in the logs encapsulated by decades of growth.

Read more about this project on the Mahlum Architects website. Thank you Anne Schopf, FAIA, former COD Chair and Mahlum Partner, for sending the news.

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