New Fire Native worked with the Muscogee Nation to create an internally focused community for elders that is in harmony with tribal values and culture.
In collaboration with the Nation, the design team first developed a phased master plan for the community, which is located on approximately 36 acres in the city of Okmulgee. Following completion of the master plan, the Nation elected to have our team complete full design for both phases of the project. Phase I includes a central Elders Center with a large connected outdoor covered pavilion, 31 single bedroom independent living cottages and all supporting infrastructure such as roads and utilities. Site features consist of shared open spaces, walking and nature trails, gardens, recreation areas and a large central park containing three ponds. Phase II includes 41 additional cottages, an on-site maintenance building and additional outdoor elements.
The design team worked with the Muscogee Nation to create an internally focused community that is in harmony with the Nation’s values with an emphasis on serving the elder community. The independent-living cottages are designed after the small, pitched roofed homes of the Muscogee people in their original homeland and are arranged similar to a traditional village in small clusters around common spaces, such as the Elders’ Center. The Elders’ Center reflects the Council House which was at the center of every Muscogee village. It serves as a common house for the community to gather, have celebrations and events, as well as the current Council House that houses the Muscogee government. To further celebrate the tribe’s cultural heritage, the exterior of the buildings are cladded with brick in traditional Muscogee patterns and colors.