RDG In the Media: Community Center Respects Sacred Potawatomi Symbols
RDG Architect Blaine Perau, AIA discusses the importance of integrating culture into the design of a new community center in the November/December issue of Athletic Business.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community Center is a state-of-the-art community recreation center in Crandon, Wisconsin. The community center, which opened in September 2021, was designed in partnership with RDG Planning & Design and serves as a hub for cultural education, recreation, athletic training, wellness and community events. RDG Architect Blaine Perau, spoke with Athletic Business about how design for the facility seeks to respect the sacred traditions and symbols of the Native Potawatomi people in virtually every square foot.
The footprint of the building, says Perau, features angled walls and areas sunk below entry-level, to mimic an eagle in flight, an animal that carries special importance within the Potawatomi community. Further detailing throughout the building includes four pillars covered in mosaic art based on Potawatomi drawings that celebrate the 12 moons, or four seasons, and pinhole light fixtures offer a nod to stars in the night sky or embers rising from a tribal gathering’s fire.