Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community


Two Waters Tribal Government Complex

Scottsdale, Arizona

180,000 GSF, 16720 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Campus Planning, Interior Architecture, Master Planning, Programming

Best Public/Institutional Building, 2009 Design Awards, Best of Arizona - Government/Public

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In need of a centralized complex for government business, the client—a sovereign nation—required a facility design to respect the land and celebrate cultural traditions. SmithGroupJJR's design works to reflect the population's cultural values, heritage and environmental stewardship. Key to success were the extensive consensus-building activites with the community during the planning phase.

The resulting pair of welcoming low-rise office structures are connected by a three-story bridge offering a rest area with dramatic desert vistas and views of important landmarks. The program's offset core maximizes contiguous and flexible work areas, while mingling cultural displays and shaded outdoor meeting spaces with manageable work environments for varied departments. Nearby are a large cafeteria, a 220-seat council chamber, and a conference center.

Respect for the land is manifested in a variety of ways: the building orientation and glazing make the best use of natural daylight, and native plantings dominate the landscaping. Inside, a raised-floor strategy locates air delivery and mechanicals underfoot, maximizing efficiency.