Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community - Data Center
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, comprising Native American tribes of the Phoenix valley, needed a safe and secure repository to store digital content of cultural value. The modern concept of data storage generally comprises financial or technical data, however the community sought a repository for audio and video recordings of tribal traditions for historical preservation and future education.
To reflect this legacy role, the team merged the components of a conventional enterprise data repository with elements of a cultural facility responsive to the community’s heritage.
Because it will occasionally host members of the community, the data center includes a welcoming lobby and meeting space. The exterior exhibits the importance of the Pima-Maricopa community government campus and the greater campus master plan. Notably, it retains views to the east and north of Red Mountain, a landmark of cultural significance.
The data center’s exterior also expresses the tribal aesthetic with subtle and appropriate treatments. A basket-weave pattern on the masonry walls provides texture to a building that desires few windows. Screen walls and gates are evocative of the ocotillo, a native plant that, like the Pima-Maricopa people, flourishes in Arizona’s desert environment.
Indigenous data is a collection, much like the historical physical artifacts of the tribes. With this framework for storage of digital assets, the learned structure of the community can be preserved for generations to come.