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The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian houses private collections and temporary exhibits. Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates, Ltd. designed a new library and reconfigured the entrance to accommodate large school groups of children. The concept of the interior is the idea of story telling around a campfire in a plateau above an open night sky. This notion brings warmth to the children that occupy the space. It is also reminiscent of a kiva, a Navajo earth lodge, and the four directions. The colors of the medicine wheel completed the interior while the exterior revealed the design of Navaho rugs. Four tree-like posts at the corners of the library are a metaphor for the edge of a forest and reminiscent of the interior of an earth lodge. In the western tradition they remind one of the aedicula, a simple four post space with a canopy cover. The latter has evolved in western architecture with the most fundamental shapes of the circle and the square. We found these overlaps suitable for this library located within an American Indian museum, since story telling precedes volumes of books.



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