Landscape, Art, and Culture: Inspiring Local Architecture

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The Navajo Nation Division of Transportation Office Complex (NDOT) draws inspiration from natural rock formations in the surrounding landscape as well as from traditional Navajo culture. The complex also integrates work from local artists, strengthening the ties between architecture and community. Continue reading

A School for the Community: Baca Dlo’ay Azhi

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Community, culture and sustainability – our first project celebrating Native American Heritage Month is a true example of how design can be influenced by local culture to produce a beautiful and highly-functional facility. Baca Dlo’ay Azhi Community School in Prewitt, New Mexico was one of the first education projects designed by Dyron Murphy Architects, and it was the first LEED certified building in New Mexico.

From the overall footprint of the building to the imprinted detailing on the walls, Baca Dlo’ay Azhi demonstrates the importance of local influences on building design.

Inspiration 3 - feather

The DMA team drew inspiration from Diné culture, symbolically incorporating functions and colors associated with the Circle of Life into the project design. The main entry faces east toward Mt. Taylor, which is one of the four sacred mountains to the Diné people. Other design elements addressed the four sacred directions with the four wings of the building radiating from a central core. At the central core is the library where students and staff can gather under the light of a central skylight.

Inspiration 2 - Corn

To connect the building to the site, the spaces between building elements are landscaped with native plants, creating an interplay between the man-made and natural worlds. Corn motifs are imprinted on exterior walls, noting another significant element in Diné culture.

Baca Dlo’ay Azhi Community School received a White House Closing the Circle Award Honorable Mention, Sustainable/Green Buildings Category, in 2005. The school also received the Department of the Interior Energy Award in 2004.

Learn more about our Native and Education projects on our website.

November is Native American Heritage Month

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As a Native American-owned firm, Dyron Murphy Architects spends each day celebrating the unique and vibrant cultures of Native people across the country through our architecture. We are honored to collaborate with Native communities to understand their history and culture, and use … Continue reading