Elouise Cobell Land & Culture Institute

In 2014, the Elouise Cobell Land & Culture Institute, dedicated to the renowned Blackfeet activist, was completed in the lower level of the Payne Family Native American Center.  The building was designed from the outset to include an unfinished full day lit basement, with the intention of utilizing this space in the future.  The space was designed with high ceilings and windows that bring light into the space using large light wells with retaining walls made from the glacial rock dug from the site during construction.  When additional funds became available, donated also by the Payne family, the university was able to create this new center and 7 Directions was called back to design the new space for the new institute.  The design includes a circular Star Gazing Room, a fully functional planetarium with an east facing entry in the heart of the space.  Floor patterns are etched and stained into the concrete floor and tile work patterns in the restroom are derived from Blackfeet parfleche designs.  The institute also includes a GIS computer lab, a film screening room, and a large classroom space.