Why a Longhouse?

Longhouse Project

Why a Longhouse?

The Longhouse project has been completed, the Longhouse project pages here are only an archive of the information.

Native American Statue

The Longhouse at Lane Community College will be a home for Native American students - a place to share their values and cultures. It will also provide an educational resource for the curriculum as well as the physical campus.The dream of many for over a decade, the Longhouse will be a first in the State of Oregon to be built on a community college campus. The design reflects a symbiosis of traditional and contemporary construction methods, with materials that are derived from Mother Earth.

Situated on a prominent site with axial relations to the cardinal directions, the building will provide a landmark for the campus and be a gateway introduction for visitors to the campus. with the major ceremonial entry facing east, a story telling and teaching circle adjacent to the building is encompassed by carved cedar totems, honoring the armed forces of the United States.

Entries, both east and west, lead to a circular Hall of Honor, a place to honor the nine tribes of Oregon. The Hall of Honor is an interpretation of a pit house or Hogan with the light source radiating from above through timber framing. Neighboring the Hall, the Longhouse Room is of traditional proportions and structure, representing a place that has familial, sacred and traditional modes. It will be a place of gathering on the college grounds. The "smoke hole" above provides focus and light to the room marking the passing of the day, while the longhouse roof reflects the patterns of the sky.

Support spaces for administration, classroom, restroom and storage are organized around the major uses, including a kitchen facility to enable sharing of food at gatherings and dressing areas off of the rest rooms for dancers to dress in regalia. As cultures adapt throughout time, the Longhouse will remain culturally sustainable, a constant home. The building will have a positive impact on the site as it exists in harmony with the environment through site sensitive design, water conservation, and the use of regional and natural materials.

The simple elegance of the building and site design is a container for the rich and diverse culture of the Native Americans. It will be a place of the spirit, a place of learning and talking, a place of respect for those that have gone before, a place of hope for present day and a gift to future generations.