WSU Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center


The Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center pays a contemporary tribute to the Nez Perce people who lived on the Palouse while it celebrates the diversity of WSU’s student body. The 16,000 SF, LEED Gold-certified building is showcased at the entrance to campus and overlooks the nearby rolling hills. The sinuous structure is constructed with exposed Port Orford Cedar glulam girder beams which represent the Nez Perce basket weaving tradition. The free-form roof shape evokes the natural fall colors and shape of the undulating Palouse. Exposed board-formed concrete and native iron-rich basalt are used to harmoniously integrate the building with the natural landscape. This iconic building embraces the legacy of a past president, the heritage of a people, and the future of a diverse community with the common goal of bettering oneself through culture and education.

This project has received numerous awards, including:

  • ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) Washington Engineering Excellence Award  - Silver Award: Complexity
  • Associated General Contractors of Washington Build Washington Award - Public Buildings $5-20 Million
  • DBIA (Design Build Institute of America) Educational Facilities - National Merit Award
  • DBIA Chairman's Award for Community Impact and Social Responsibility
  • DBIA Excellence in Design Award - Architecture

Click here to see a video by our design-build team members GGLO Design and Absher Construction which explores the Cultural Center's inspiration and design process from conception to construction.

Photo credit: Lara Swimmer