Group Project Marking the Ground

The Onondaga nation is one with rich culture and history. For thousands of years, they maintained a cyclical, circular, and symbiotic relationship with nature. However, since the age of European colonization, the land and resources of the nation have been exploited, and their cultural practice has been limited. Inspired by the hilltop view at the site, where we could see the village from afar, we wonder how we could make this land truly theirs. We first learn from the topographic land, observing where it rises and descends, and how it makes turns. We then mark these locations and construct unique earth walls following these marks. As cedar is the community’s sacred tree, we surround the marked earth walls with cedar columns to shape the enclosure space and to inform programmatic areas.

The proposed community center fosters an intimate relationship with the surroundings by adapting to the seasonal cycle and being in tune with the rhythms of nature. Each marking earth wall denotes an ambiguous boundary and creates intimate moments with the adjacent space. The soil used for the earth walls transfers its colorants to the cedar formwork. The cedar panels from the formwork are reused as cladding, completing the fabrication and construction cycle. With coloring, paneling, and texturizing, we give voices to the walls, empowering them to express who they are and where they belong.

Close overlay