HCD Webinar: Cultural Expression Through Mass Timber- The Village SF Wellness Center

When:  Feb 26, 2024 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (ET)

Cultural Expression Through Mass Timber- The Village SF Wellness Center

Course provides 1 LU | HSW.

Softwood Lumber 2023 Mass Timber Competition winner, The Village SF Wellness Center will be a 45,000 square foot building in the heart of the American Indian Cultural District.  The Owner represents a coalition of Intertribal American Indian Organizations serving the Urban American Indian community and beyond.  It will shine as an example of a dense, mixed-use, community-based project constructed of mass timber.

The Center is a lesson for non Native architects to recognize the built environment’s role in colonization.  We will share the process of rejecting a colonized perspective and elevating cultural indigenous values and spiritual ancestry presence in design.  

The ability to build Type IV-C projects has become a pathway to decolonizing architecture. The exposed mass timber structure communicates a sense of nature, cultural connection and warmth that calls to residents and users, as seen by the Village SF Wellness Center.

This project personifies an important perspective when thinking globally about mass timber’s presence, and grounds us in the lessons from First Nations.   We will discuss together the difficulties and opportunities for sourcing timber from native land and stewarded forests.

  1. Learn how Mass timber is perceived as a cultural expression for Indigenous and American Indian communities.

  2. Analyze colonized viewpoints and the challenge to explore decolonization through a client’s perspective.

  3. Learn about how Mass Timber is sourced, forested and procured

  4. Discuss how Indigenous Values and Sustainable resilient goals can be interwoven.

The webinar is part of a series produced by the AIA Right-to-Housing Working Group. In each episode, we ask: “What does the right to housing mean in practice?” and “How can architects contribute?”


Janey Madamba, AIA, Senior Associate, PYATOK

Janey Madamba:  Senior Associate Janey has over 20 years of experience in high-density housing, from live-work communities to multifamily housing. Her experience is
predominantly focused in affordable family housing and senior housing, encompassing both renovations and new construction. In addition to her strong technical skills, Janey is adept at coordinating closely with project owners, city agencies, and consultants, ensuring that all members of a project team are informed and working toward the same goals. On her current projects, Janey has been deeply involved in choreographing teams in order to facilitate good communication, resolving issues, and coordinating between design, client, and general contractor while keeping within timelines and budgets. A lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Janey is passionate about family, community, and the arts. She has been a part of a modern dance group that conducts workshops for dancers with Parkinson’s disease, as well as working with multigenerational dancers. Janey has conducted empowerment workshops for young girls in East Oakland and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center in San Francisco and Dimensions Dance Theater in Oakland.

Anya Riddell-Kaufman, Associate, PYATOK

Anya Riddell-Kaufman: Associate Anya joined PYATOK in 2016, drawn to the firm’s dedication to socially conscious design. Committed to the belief that housing is a human right, Anya is eager to address the Bay Area housing crisis through the design of multifamily housing, with an emphasis on trauma-informed design and anti-racist design. Having also worked for a small single-family housing practice in San Francisco, she values the opportunity to contribute to people’s well-being through the thoughtful design of their homes. Anya also dedicates energy to the continual development of the collaborative processes at PYATOK, improving inclusion, awareness, and authenticity within our teams, firm, field, and broader community. Since 2020, Anya has facilitated regular Friday Reflection Hours open to all staff to discuss prevalent social issues and their intersection with the built environment. Anya is dedicated to the community process as a means of engaging residents in a conversation for sensitive and responsive design. Her passion for housing and human rights extends beyond the profession to her involvement with organizations that work for social justice and affordable housing rights.

Ray Reedy, AIA, Associate, PYATOK

Associate Ray Reedy joined PYATOK in 2016, drawn to the office’s role in improving lives through socially and environmentally responsible architecture. He plays a leading role in the office’s Sustainability Committee, through which he pushes for more ambitious sustainable solutions and advancing a culture of prioritizing environmental sustainability. In college, Ray spent a year abroad at the University of Botswana where he, among other things, learned about the challenges of international humanitarian design as a volunteer with Architecture for Humanity. During graduate studies at the University of Oregon, Ray developed an interest in collaborative community initiatives by leading design-build projects with students and community members. After relocating to the Bay Area, he also worked as a construction crew leader with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and as a designer in a design-build architecture studio. At PYATOK, Ray works at many phases and scales, currently leading the design of a mixed use mass timber project in the Mission District.