Catawba Nation Senior Center

Project Details


Catawba Indian Nation


Catawba Indian Reservation, Rock Hill, SC


6,000 sq. ft.





About the project:

The Catawba people have lived along the banks of the Catawba River for thousands of years and to this day embrace a rich cultural history that is deeply rooted in the waters of the river. They engaged Progressive AE in 2020 for master planning services on a site to create a senior housing development and community center to provide a place for the senior tribe members to congregate, access community services, and access health services.


  • Design a community center for senior tribe members that integrates natural surroundings and provides space for fellowship
  • Provide a large multipurpose space to engage in social and recreational activities, programmed events, and meals
  • Provide opportunities for craft making, and embracing the tribe’s cultural heritage of pottery making


The design of the senior center focuses on connectivity to the earth and surrounding land that the tribe has inhabited for thousands of years. Key design elements include:

  • An east-facing covered porch separated from the “Great Room” by expanses of curtainwall glazing and materials that carry from the outside in—blurring the lines between interior and exterior spaces
  • Materials selected based on those naturally found in the surrounding native land
  • Exterior design playing off the traditional Catawba “long house” construction where sticks and tree limbs form the building structure which is then clad in a veneer of wood bark exterior skin