Student Researchers: Brett Orion SuydamFaculty Advisor: Phil Gallegos
Raven's Nest is a community center and preschool for the Denver Indian Center. The foundational idea of the form and function of the space was that of a bird’s nest: Just as the elders of the community are encouraged to surround and lift their young people, the structures are intended to protect and uplift the children of the preschool. These children are given the roof upon which to play, surrounding an expansive inner-courtyard where drum circles and dancers can rehearse in full view of the children and pow-wows can be held under the sky. The circle has great importance in Native American Cultures across North America. It represents, among other things, how everything is connected, and part of a great circle. This connection is referenced in this space as a reminder to the elders and a lesson to those in the preschool. Raven’s Nest sits as an iconic symbol, in contrast to the neighborhood in which it resides, to stand proudly for North America’s Native American Population, the most invisible minority in the U.S.A.