Muskogee (Creek) Nation Koweta Indian Health Facility Designed by Childers Featured in Healthcare Design Magazine

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Koweta Indian Health Facility serves the Native American population of northeastern Oklahoma, as well as surrounding states.

As this project developed it was clear that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was interested in its identity as “people of the earth” and how that connection would be reflected in the building's form and use of materials. The patient experience also was identified as a goal for the project. The key to this project's success was the willingness of the architect, owner, federal government, and construction management team to work together.

The types of materials chosen and how they were used became extremely important to the design. Other important goals were to reflect the Native American culture, provide access to daylight, views to the outdoors, and access to nature.

Together, the striated brick and the form of the building help to reflect the community it serves. The rural character of the facility helps provide a link between the rural members of the community, yet still reflects a sense of sophistication and technical capacity. The striated brick represents the layers of the earth and is a reflection of the building's interpretation of being “of the earth.”

Project category: New construction (completed May 2006)

Chief administrator: Bert Robison, Health Systems Administrator, (918) 279-3200

Firm: James R. Childers Architect, Inc., (479) 783-2480

Design team: James R. Childers, Architect of Record (James R. Childers Architect, Inc.); Bruce Roberson, Structural Engineer (Foy Consulting & Engineering); MEP, Civil, and Structural Engineer, EDM Consultants; Program Provider, Indian Health Service; Contractor, Flintco; Client, Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Photography: Shields Marley

Total building area (sq. ft.): 58,900

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $248

Total construction cost (excluding land): $14,600,000

The two-story curtainwall at the main entrance atrium space allows a maximum amount of northeastern light to infiltrate the area. Natural light is also introduced at the main corridors and the subwaiting areas by clerestory windows.

Views to nature are achieved at the dental-chair locations through window walls that overlook the natural setting of rural northeastern Oklahoma. Gardens surround the immediate proximity of the building, as do covered walkways, so that patients and staff can enjoy the connection to nature. The covered walkways extended the facility outside and assisted in creating a feeling of openness.

Through the efforts of many and their willingness to work in a team environment, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has a facility that serves the needs of its user population, supports its healthcare objectives, and respects its cultural heritage.

Read the full story