Upper Fruitland Community Center
Upper Fruitland is located in the four corners region of New Mexico on the Navajo Nation Reservation. The project was to assist Upper Fruitland Chapter to co-create a design of a cemetery guided by Chapter Officials and the community. The design was derived from respectively incorporating traditional culture and the surrounding landscape. The cemetery is to span across 40.6 acres to accommodate approximately 9,000 burial plots, reception building, and maintenance building.
Traditional Navajo Hogan
The design inspiration is taken from the Navajo Hogan. The ASU design team has done multiple studies of the tectonics of the Hogan, materiality, and the cultural representation of directionality.
Deriving Inspiration from Surrounding Landscape
Upper Fruitland is surrounded by vegetation, with the steep slopes of sharp-crested ridges providing inspiration for the reception building.
Stage of Completion
Schematic Design (2018-2019)
Upper Fruitland, New Mexico
10,970 sq.ft. 1,020 m2
Upper Fruitland Chapter
IDC (Indigenous Design Collaborative) Design Leads
Wanda Dalla Costa, Claudio Vekstein
IDC Design Team
Tierra Miller, Rhonda Harvey, Dolores Cremonini
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Balance between Modern and Traditional Culture
One of the design challenges was the balance between modernity and tradition Navajo culture. Upper Fruitland wanted the culture represented in the design but still maintain a modern appearance. There have been many iterations of the interpretation of the Hogan, the ASU team aimed to honor the original shape, repeated as a cluster of forms.