Educare of Winnebago

Winnebago, NE

Services provided on this project:

  • Architecture,
  • Furniture Fixtures and Equipment,
  • Interior Design,
  • Landscape Architecture

Architecture Overview:

To design the ideal Educare School for the Winnebago Tribe community, our Early Education team immersed themselves with the Ho-Chunk people. Discovery through culture, history books, museums, and most importantly, communication with the community and its elders helped develop a design concept that is sensitive and reflective of the tribe and its history. Through this exploration, two influential design themes emerged: path and earth. Path signifies the Winnebago tribe’s split from the other Siouan tribes and the beginning of a new journey as a single tribe. Earth represents respect for and dependence upon the earth, as it became vital to the existence of the Ho-Chunk people. The themes of earth and path evolved into concepts specific to the Educare Winnebago project: ‘Earth/Path’ and ‘Nurture through Nature’. Through the importance of earth and path, nature became an element through which the school was defined and a program delineated. A physical pathway through the site and school is defined by nature and framed through the building architecture. As child development and nurturing is the focus of both the early education program and its built environment, planning for Educare Winnebago included careful consideration of the design approach and the school’s placement with regard to purposeful engagement with the earth. Surrounded by sculpted earthwork, the pathway trails through the site to a compressed entry, leading visitors into a welcoming and naturally-illuminated atrium of the school. The atrium becomes the communal hearth, adorned with cultural artwork representing the tribe and Ho-Chunk culture. Providing education nearly 200 children ages 6 months to 5 years, Educare Winnebago has also become a destination for the community to gather in learning and share more about their culture.

Furniture Fixtures and Equipment Overview:

Interior Design Overview:

Landscape Architecture Overview:

  • CLIENT: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
  • COMPLETE: January 2014
  • SIZE:
    31,500 Sq. Ft. of New Construction
    7 Acres
  • AWARDS:
    • IIDA Great Plains Chapter - Honor Award for Intergration of Concept - 2015
    • Learning by Design - 2017 Outstanding Project - 2017
  • View Related Project Types:
    Early Learning