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Nine concentric circles of community: A case study


“The facility, designed as nine concentric circles tied to the Tree of Life, flows around the concept of having community members participate directly and interact with each other, encouraging storytelling, communication, and interaction through activities and learning, a place to learn about mind and body wellness, addressing the cultural values of the Gila River Indian community.”


They had us at “nine concentric circles.”


This statement, about the Gila River Indian Community District 3 Multipurpose facility in Sacaton, Ariz., comes from Merge Architectural Group in Phoenix. The design architect for the project was Carlos A. Murrieta, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, NOMA, co-founder/principal of Merge Architectural Group. His team worked with the architect of record Travis Irvine, NCARB, LEED AP, from ID Studio, Phoenix.


The center’s grand opening took place this spring. The building features administration services, community hall functions, a gymnasium, main kitchen to serve the community for social functions, separate elder’s kitchen and dining room to serve the community elders, and additional spaces for the elders. The building also has an outdoor pool with a separate restroom/locker building. The architect notes the building was needed to bring the community into a modern age. It provides activities for kids and teenagers while also honoring the much-respected elders.


Now, back to those circles. The team was challenged with the thought of creating tight curves with materials and products that are used for straight building sections. As you can find here, Flex-Ability Concepts’ products are curved by hand, making curves feasible with labor and material cost savings. Flex-C Trac has Hammer-Lock tabs that are hammered into place to embed them into the web and secure the shape of the products. For added strength, self-tapping screws can be embedded into the side of Flex-C Trac.

The drywall and framing installer Design Drywall West Inc., Tempe, Ariz., used some Flex-Ability Concepts products near the center of the building, where several spaces utilized tightly curved walls and soffits. The crew installed: 29 pieces of 18-gauge 6-inch, 125 pieces of 16-gauge 6-inch and 27 pieces of 20-gauge 6-inch Flex-C Trac. L & W Supply, El Paso, Texas, was the distributor.


“The D3 multipurpose center is the last service center to be constructed within the Gila River Indian Community and is expected to increase the standard of living for its tribal members, allowing for enhanced services and accommodations for all age groups, especially tribal elders,” says Benny Dixson, senior project manager for the Gila River Indian Community. “The goal of the new building is to increase participation in services regarding programs for health and education improvement, along with typical service center community responsibilities.”


It’s clear we support any project with imaginative curves, but this is one we can fully get behind and promote because of its creativity, community and cause.



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