By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Johnson Architecture and IBI Placemaking, both of Knoxville, Tenn., won an award recently for their work on the Cherokee Cultural Corridor master plan. The North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects gave them the 2020 Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning category.
“We were inspired by the EBCI’s rich and storied history and the Cherokee culture that lives on today,” Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture, said in a statement. “Collaborating with EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) and IBI Placemaking, we created a master plan that celebrates and strengthens the Cherokee community and amplifies the sharing of stories and culture with visitors.”
According to Chris Greene, EBCI Project Management manager, “The Cultural Corridor is an area in Cherokee located from First Citizens Bank on US 441 to the intersection of US 19 next to KFC. Over the course of a week, we met with different stakeholders that the corridor affected directly and indirectly. Our goal was to establish a place for both tourists and residents to congregate, recreate, and reconnect with the Cherokee heritage. The master plan wanted to develop a ‘special place’ or ‘heart’ that could visually and emotionally tell the story of the Cherokee people.”
Greene spoke to the master plan stating, “The master plan developed three options for the area: A, B, and C with option C being the choice. Johnson Architects and Project Management received input from tribal leadership and the community to establish option C. The key features of option C are a new Ceremonial Grounds, Welcome Center, Makers Studio and retail, expanded Museum, Civic Complex, parking garages, relocating the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and a designated sports complex with three regulation fields.”
Bill Bruce, associate director and principal-in-charge for IBI Placemaking, said in a statement, “The EBCI is a unique Native people’s community, and we were committed to ensuring that the community and culture would flourish and remain vibrant for generations to come. As landscape architects, we focus on the people who will enjoy the outdoor spaces we create, and we consider it an honor to help share the story of Cherokee, North Carolina.”
Green noted that EBCI Project Management has an active role in the process. “Project Management helped guide the team in making the design and planning decisions that were aesthetically pleasing and in harmony with the local geography and culture of the Cherokee people. The team of architects, planners, and landscape architects did a great job of creating a visual plan to start the redevelopment of the Cherokee Cultural Corridor.”