A Home for Wanapum Culture

Wanapum Heritage Center

Mattawa, WA

Cliff, Caves and Lantern 

Nestled at the edge of the Columbia River, a new museum and cultural center provides a home for Wanapum culture and artifacts. The building form weaves solidity and light, from a protective repository enclosure that references traditional cliffside cave storage spaces to the glazed welcome area that evokes traditional fishing lanterns. The entry path aligns with the equinox sunrise, marked by the Wanapum seasons and language.

Living Culture

The center replaces a smaller outmoded facility and provides an archival collection storage for repatriation and acquisitions alongside recording studios for capturing oral history. New meeting, cooking and gathering places support a living culture. 

Marking Place

The Museum reaffirms the living Wanapum culture and history on the Columbia River. Sustainable features include a high-mass insulated envelope with a high-performing climate controlled system. Stormwater is expressed through channels in the repository walls and enhanced native landscape. 

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