Muscogee Nation childcare assistance programs are available across Oklahoma to Muscogee citizens as well as other Native American families that reside within 100 miles of reservation boundaries. This new childcare facility in Wetumka, OK not only meets the practical childcare needs of the Nation, but interprets Muscogee culture into a contemporary design and learning experience for Muscogee Nation youth and families.
The concept of a “village” is central to this childcare facility design. The visual representation of a village is seen through the tradition of the Muscogean City consisting of The Town square and the Chokofa or council house. The design organizes space based on these Tribal Principles, utilizing a central common space from which seamless movement throughout the Center is facilitated. In this way, caregivers and children can both interact as a community and retreat to age-appropriate spaces as needed.
Throughout the design process, it was a priority to define a contemporary vernacular, sensitive to the Muscogee Nation. As the village concept was incorporated, we deconstructed traditional architecture and the urban “village” design to integrate Tribal elements, and art, and visually interpret the Muscogean Language.
The land is a constant source of bounty and inspiration to the Muscogee Nation. By considering the regional features of Oklahoma, color, form, and materials inspired by the land were incorporated into the design. Details include a modular, color-coded “pod” design that delineates space, offers visual directional information, and allows for simple future expansion; windows throughout to focus on bringing the outside “in”; and an outdoor gathering space around a sacred tree.
The result is a learning environment focused on Muscogee culture, language, and traditions.
This project is currently under construction.