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Morongo Tribal Administration Building: Stone, Copper + Wood (CA)

Morongo Tribal Administration Building: Stone, Copper + Wood (CA)

The Morongo Admin Building (67,000 sq.ft) is built to house administrative and tribal government activities in one convenient center.

Why we love it:

  1. The Outdoor Space: Indigenous plants, rock gardens, water features and shaded seating in a large courtyard (gathering) space. It is a tribute to the surroundings and an invitation to the community.
  2. The circular annex (8,700 sq.ft) seats 240, and comes complete with judge chambers, a jury room, a state-of-the-art electronic / sound system (including an electronic voting system built into each chair), and a commercial kitchen with the ability to accommodate large-scale community events.
  3. Indigenous precedents are alluded to with the earthy, slanted walls, the circular chamber, and the basket-weaved interior walls. The center exudes a feeling of being ‘of this earth’ with the natural materials: Jerusalem stone walls, wood details and the patina copper chamber.


The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign Indian nation. The band owns and operates the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa, Canyon Lanes Bowling and Hadley Fruit Orchards. The Morongo Indian Reservation is 32,000+ acres and has 950 resident members who are a mixture of Serrano, Cahuilla, and Cupeno peoples of Southern California.

Architect (& Interior photo credit): Gruen Associates

Photos: Wanda Dalla Costa

Project Opening: 2009

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