Prominently situated at the main entry to the WSU Pullman Campus, the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center will expand the notion of what it means to be a Coug. Cultural awareness and acceptance, celebration of heritage, restoration of native landscapes, and sense of place are expressed through the unapologetic, primal form of the building.
Inspired by an indigenous philosophy of respect and interdependence between humans and nature, entries and communal spaces spill out into a restored native Palouse Prairie landscape, with floor, roof and walls undulating with the topography of the site.
The primary gathering space or ‘living room’ will be the center piece of the project, designed and programed for cultural celebrations by the University and surrounding Communities. Reflecting the University’s land grant mission and embracing of the traditionally underserved cultures of Washington– Native American, Latino/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American – four knowledge rooms oriented to campus and open to each other provide educational forums for deep exploration of both individuality and interconnectedness of cultures.
Seamless indoor-outdoor celebration spaces, joined by symbolically patterned paving and transparent operable walls, are enveloped by a singular, iconic and sheltering roof, evocative of the Palouse and paying homage to the region’s heritage.