Southeast Alaska Native Cultural Center Proposal

Location:Juneau, AK

Owner:Southeast Heritage Institute

Status:2nd place

Size:30,000 s.f.

NorthWind Architects along, with RIM First People, was one of 8 teams invited to participate in a design competition for a new building in downtown Juneau. The project would be completed for the Sealaska Heritage Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures.

To gain insight and inspiration, we talked to a wide variety of native leaders from all age groups and walks of life. The proposed structure was inspired by the traditional approach to siting buildings at the juncture between the land and the sea. The cladding, glass scrim onto which digital images could be projected, was influenced by how the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people have successfully integrated new materials and technologies into their culture and artwork.

Our team was chosen as one of two finalists to interview for the design commission. We were not selected, but we are very proud of the design we developed and greatly enjoyed working with Rim First People. We look forward to teaming with them in the future.