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Entrant Name
Mahlum

Design Team
Butch Reifert, Anne Schopf, Forest Payne, Cristine Traber , Dwayne Epp, James Steel , Masako Flood, Joe Mayo, JoAnn Wilcox

Collaborators
Contractor: Donovan Brothers, Log Builders: Caribou Creek, Log Construction: Frontier Log & Timber Homes, Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, MEP Engineer: Hultz BHU, Structural Engineer: PCS Structural Solutions, Landscape Architect: Cascade Design Collaborative, Food Service: Bundy & Associates

Owner / Client
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Muckleshoot Smokehouse

All Submissions > Scale 2: Building Scale

This project for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is dedicated to the practice of the Smokehouse faith, a traditional spiritualism also known as Seowyn. There is a strong sense of communal ownership of this new longhouse among all of the followers of the faith. An elder who spoke at the ground blessing in February of 2012 observed that this would be the first longhouse on the Muckleshoot prairie in more than 100 years. It is dedicated to the legacy of those who fought to preserve the culture and traditions of their Salish ancestors, and it is a legacy that this generation will leave for their children.

Members of the committee worked toward achieving this project for over a decade, and it is seen by all as a critical step in the growing revival of the Tribe’s customs. Winter is the traditional season of the longhouse. During the remainder of the year, families were dispersed over wide territories seeking resources from the sea, the rivers, and the mountains. Winter brought everyone back together to the shelter and warmth of the longhouse, to the food stores, and to the stories, songs, and dances around the fires. Their new longhouse now hosts the congregation’s gatherings and ceremonies and receives guests from the region’s larger Smokehouse community.

The peeled log construction and gabled roof is reverent to traditional longhouse structures of the Southern Salish peoples. Cedar is considered a gift to their ancestors because of the innumerable uses they found for it. Cedar columns stand sentinel in the ceremony rooms, their quiet strength connecting the congregants to this heritage. Cedar planks span between columns sheltering the occupants from the chill winds outside. Doug fir was harvested for the logs, rafters and decking of the roof structure. The main ceremony space seats 500 people, while the smaller “local room” at the east houses more intimate services. Dirt floors keep dancers and congregants connected to the earth, and fires in the large wood stoves keep out the cold.