Wa-Di Housing Development
Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM
Opening Doors to Cultural Connections
Financed by low income tax credits, the Wa-Di Housing development is located on eight acres of the Kewa Reservation, not far from the Pueblo’s Historic Main Village. Designed by Atkin Olshin Schade with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative and members of the Kewa Pueblo, the forty-one affordable rentals are a mix of single and two-story units in an architectural style that is specific to the Kewa culture. The homes respect the tribe’s historical preference for density and shared community spaces. Homes are designed with passive solar heating; there are individual garden plots and community gardens. Integrated into the development is a 3,000-square-foot community center with daycare, computer lab, playground and basketball court, and large multipurpose space for social events. The project allows the Pueblo community to accommodate increases in population, develop community programming and further celebrate its cultural heritage.
Community meetings drove the planning and design process as needs were identified, options considered, and design concepts refined. This project included a heritage site walk with Pueblo leaders and the community as part of a larger planning goal to bring together two distinct historic areas on the reservation: the Wa-Di housing site near the Railrunner stop and the Pueblo core, the community’s cultural and spiritual center. Each home is provided with a small and well ventilated work shed, designed to house flexible studio space for resident artists and craftsmen. Traditional stone grinding, a critical part of jewelry making, results in poor air quality when done inside the home.
Structural Engineer: Luchini-Trujillo Structural Engineers, Inc.; MEP Engineer: Rock Gap Engineering; Civil Engineer: Forsgren Associates, Inc. Landscape Architect: Design Studio