Beyond the building acting as a space that is well-accepted by the campus and the community, the goal for this space is that it will educate students and visitors of the history of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. We incorporated many design elements after conversations and understanding with the SRP-MIC community into the building that are rooted in SRP-MIC traditions of building, harvesting, and performing. Our hope is to express this to anyone who visits the space and have them walk away with a greater understanding of the history of the land, its people, and the future of the SRP-MIC community.
From the beginning of the project, the challenge that surfaced by means of several user group discussions on intended needs and desires for the project was that the building should give equal identity to both the Business School and the Indigenous Cultural Center by means of an exterior presence. Although simple in concept, the building also aesthetically wanted to appear to be of the same language and material; subsequently, creating different identities for such disparate user groups became the core challenge and opportunity for shaping a unified building that would formally become known as Cloud Song. The plan offered us the ability to organize and allocate space in a push/pull methodology that allowed for the Business School to have a physical connection and presence to the campus and the Indigenous Scholars Institute to have a visual connection to the adjacent east Red Mountain as well as a significant amount of outdoor space for events. Additionally, both the Business School and the Indigenous Cultural Center have different material selections on the interior of the building to further create a subtle visual differentiation between the two programs.