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Tuesday
Aug172010

Press Release to Peninsula Daily News re: Rayonier Site Concept - published 8/15/10

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For additional information, contact:

W. Ron Allen, Tribal Council Chair/CEO, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe at rallen@jamestowntribe.org or Annette Nesse, COO at anesse@jamestowntribe.org

Seven Generation Salish Village Design Concept Proposed for Rayonier Site

What’s old is new. The newest trend in architectural design harkens back to the Seven Generations concept of Native American culture, which always focuses on stewardship of resources not only for now, but for generations to come.

As an active participant in the Harbor-Works Public Development Authority discussions about the Rayonier Mill site, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council Chairman/CEO W. Ron Allen felt that a concept was needed for the community to visualize the opportunity for redevelopment. He contacted Michael T. Gentry, AIA of Gentry Architecture Collaborative, who has worked with both the Jamestown S’Klallam (Community Center, Longhouse Market and Blyn Firehouse) and Lower Elwha Klallam (Heritage Center) Tribes in the past, to discuss a concept that would reflect the Salish cultural roots of the site.

“I believe that this visual representation will help bridge the interest of all parties in our community for a win-win approach.  We agree with the Lower Elwha Klallam and the community that the clean-up and restoration of the site is the first step.  But, we need to look into the future to see what an opportunity this is to change the character, image and economic opportunity for the Port Angeles harbor and our peninsula. This approach is intended to advance a common ground for all,” stated Allen. 

Gentry, along with Stuart J. Bonney, AIA, prepared a conceptual design for a Salish Village development on the former Rayonier Mill site at Ennis Creek, including commercial, cultural and retail spaces. The design concept goes beyond visual renderings to embrace the new “regenerative design” – among other factors, generating all of its own energy and treating its own water.

At a recent presentation sponsored by C4CD called “Vision of a Regenerative Future” at Peninsula College with Jason McLennan of the Cascadia Green Building Council, Gentry explained that the Rayonier site represents the many issues that must be dealt with in our community.

“We realized early in the design-thinking exercises at C4CD using McLennan’s Living Building Challenge approach that it was congruent with the Seven Generations principles of respecting the wisdom of natural systems. The issues we must face in our community include how we decide to honor the heritage of this place and the rich cultural legacy stemming from all who have lived, are now living, and who will live on this land. Now is the time to engage in an open, honest and respectful public dialogue, and a valid, purposes-directed process led by those who have priorities based on respect for place, the cycle of life, and natural resources,” stated Gentry.

McLennan urges architects and engineers to go beyond conservation and instead focus on restoration. The Center for Community Design (C4CD) is doing just that. Gentry, along with Bonney and architect Richard Kielbon, created C4CD as a place for community members to gather, exchange ideas, and learn how to plan and design their community through participation in design thinking exercises guided by local architects and planners.

“Those in attendance at the presentation seemed to recognize the importance of the collaborative process we are fostering at C4CD,” said Gentry. “During the evening discussion about green building and the future of the Rayonier site, McLennan wove a very convincing argument for a return to dense, low rise and  completely self-sustaining "villages" exactly like what we are envisioning on this site. He gave examples of other projects where this is currently being accomplished. There are around 70 of them world-wide with many more on the board.”

As co-author (with Eden Brukman) of The Living Building Challenge 2.0, McLennan challenges “all design professionals, contractors and building owners to create the foundation for a sustainable future in the fabric of our communities; politicians and government officials to remove barriers to systemic change and to realign incentives and market signals that truly protect the health, safety and welfare of people and all beings; and all of humanity to reconcile the built environment with the natural environment into a civilization that creates greater biodiversity, resilience and opportunities for life with each adaptation and development.”

“The Living Building Challenge is not just a trend, but a rapidly growing movement,” said Gentry. “I ask the question, ‘why couldn’t our community be one of the initial cities, like Portland and Seattle, to adopt a Living Building ordinance?’”  W. Ron Allen stated, “We believe that the Rayonier site is a great candidate for such a concept.”

The Rayonier site, at 700 North Ennis Street in Port Angeles, operated as a saw mill on and off from 1887-1929.  Then it reopened as a pulp mill, operated by Rayonier from 1930-1997. The mill used sulfites and acids to break wood pulp down to cellulose fiber.  For the first 40 years, chemicals were released directly into Port Angeles Harbor; for the following 27 years they were pre-treated before release.  The result of 67 years of chemical release was a site which meets the pollution Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for Superfund clean-up. 

The Harbor-Works Public Development Authority, commissioned by the City of Port Angeles and the Port of Port Angeles, with input from the Governor’s Office, Department of Ecology, the Jamestown S’Klallam and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribes with a common interest by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, as well as Puget Sound Partnership, Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Legislature, Congress, Environmental Protection Agency and Rayonier, was formed to clean-up and redevelop the site.

 

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    Gentry Architecture Collaborative - News - Press Release to Peninsula Daily News re: Rayonier Site Concept - published 8/15/10
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    Gentry Architecture Collaborative - News - Press Release to Peninsula Daily News re: Rayonier Site Concept - published 8/15/10
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