Dan Spiegel, AIA; Dustin Stephens; Megumi Aihara

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) Demonstration Pavilion

Pow-Wow: The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Demonstration Pavilion is a design for a cultural gathering space with long-term goals of creating affordable sustainable housing. The building plan utilizes local resources and labor, contributing to economic development in the area.

The theme of the EP Exhibit 2016 is It Takes a Community. Selected projects showcase the best work from young designers highlighting community impact and engagement.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) Demonstration Pavilion project leverages the construction of a provisional cultural gathering space towards the launch of a long-term economic, community, and affordable housing development program—facilitated by the exploration of strategic building systems that utilize local resources, local labor, and sustainable design approaches.

The pavilion will consist of a collection of monoliths that serve as "test structures," showcasing two sustainable building systems—straw bale and rammed earth. The construction of the monoliths will take a workshop format, training and introducing interested community members with specialized skills that can kick start an affordable housing labor force that comes from within the community.

With each building season, new groups will be trained and the pavilion will grow to incorporate a variety of gathering spaces. Sited on the tribe's Pow-Wow grounds, the gathering spaces serve to support programmed cultural and community activities such as annual Pow-Wow activities, storytelling, performances, meetings, markets, Lakota language learning, youth events, play, exploration, and quite repose.

The structures are arranged to create an iconic, mountain-like form rising out of flat horizon of the Pow Wow grounds, providing a shaded area in the hot summer months, and a warm fireside shelter in the winter. Upon approach, the mountain form dissolves in to discreet objects, defining gathering spaces of many sizes.

The construction of the pavilion is intended as a catalyst for two intertwined, continuous cycles: Community Design & Community Economic Development. The Community Design Cycle uses the Pavilion as the site for active engagement with the community through a series of design workshops, planning meetings, and building demonstrations. The community will develop experience with design planning and review, gradually taking expanded ownership of the design and planning process for future generations.

Meanwhile, implementing a building system that prioritizes the use of CRST material resources and workforce will initiate the Cycle of Community Economic Development. In evaluating building systems, the project will provide training demonstrations through a community build format, as well as assess the level of recapture of resources for each building system. Strategically, the rammed earth and straw bale building systems are low material cost, labor intensive systems that focus the bulk of investment in the skilled labor force, not in materials.

Building with CRST resources creates jobs and expertise in sustainable construction systems. The CRST community can then position itself to be a regional leader in development of sustainable affordable housing, offering services and expertise to the Greater Great Plains region. This model seeks to use the construction of housing as a springboard to create a sustainable housing development market.

While the pavilion will initially serve as an event space, it seeks to deploy the strength of this community tradition in order to build a robust, sustainable design process for the development of generations of affordable housing.

Image credits

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) Demonstration Pavilion

Dan Spiegel, AIA; Dustin Stephens; Megumi Aihara

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) Demonstration Pavilion

Dan Spiegel, AIA; Dustin Stephens; Megumi Aihara