Type of facility: Wellness center
Client: Rumsey band of Wintun Indians, Brooks, Calif.
Project architects: Chong Partners Architecture, San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.
Construction manager: Harbison Mahony Higgins, Brooks, Calif.
Completed: May 2003
Size: 27,000 square feet
Cost: $13.9 million
Cost per square foot: $515
The Rumsey Community and Wellness Center visually represents the Wintun tribe's history and culture and their connection to the California landscape.
Low-lying buildings in the project, set in the rural town of Brooks, about 40 miles west of Sacramento, are reminders of traditional Wintun meeting houses, but they surround a modern 27,000-square-foot community center equipped with a library, fitness center, swimming pool and healthcare facilities.
Judge David Brems says the facility's services are more about maintaining wellness than treating illness. He adds, "This project is the only award entry that expresses sustainability, and it shows. The ties to the land, culture and environment are compelling."
The facility emphasizes flexible spaces using high-quality materials and simple designs, such as high ceilings with wooden beams and hanging lights.
"This project meets all the criteria of this competition," says judge Rebecca Lewis. "In addition, the lighting, the integration into the landscape, the cultural response, as well as recognizing that wellness is an important part of healthcare, make this an obvious award-winner."
Judge Ray Grady says, "This project reflects the contemporary approach to recognizing that good health begins with the environment that we live in on a daily basis."