LATEST NEWS AIA HCD Webinar: Cultural Expression Through Mass Timber March 05, 2024

We were excited to kick off AIA's 2024 webinar series on Architecture and the Right to Housing last month. Janey, Anya, and Ray Reedy presented The Village SF Wellness Center as a case study in Cultural Expression through Mass Timber.

The webinar can be viewed here (although you can't earn Continuing Ed credit after-the-fact). The project team discusses the project's origins, how the design embodies client values, Indigenous timber sourcing, applying sustainability rating systems, decolonizing architecture, and more.

AIA Housing and Community Development's 2024 Right to Housing webinar series occurs monthly on Monday mornings through October; the AIA posts upcoming events as well as recordings of past webinars.

Cultural Expression Through Mass Timber—The Village SF Wellness Center

Softwood Lumber 2023 Mass Timber Competition winner, The Village SF Wellness Center will be a 45,000 square foot building in the heart of the American Indian Cultural District. The Owner represents a coalition of Intertribal American Indian Organizations serving the Urban American Indian community and beyond. It will shine as an example of a dense, mixed-use, community-based project constructed of mass timber.

The Center is a lesson for non Native architects to recognize the built environment’s role in colonization. We will share the process of rejecting a colonized perspective and elevating cultural indigenous values and spiritual ancestry presence in design.

The ability to build Type IV-C projects has become a pathway to decolonizing architecture. The exposed mass timber structure communicates a sense of nature, cultural connection and warmth that calls to residents and users, as seen by the Village SF Wellness Center.

This project personifies an important perspective when thinking globally about mass timber’s presence, and grounds us in the lessons from First Nations. We will discuss together the difficulties and opportunities for sourcing timber from native land and stewarded forests.

The webinar was part of a series produced by the AIA Right-to-Housing Working Group. In each episode, we ask: “What does the right to housing mean in practice?” and “How can architects contribute?”

Janey Madamba, AIA, Senior Associate, PYATOK
Anya Riddell-Kaufman, Associate, PYATOK
Ray Reedy, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, PYATOK
Pyatok -

Pyatok -