Traditional Cry House

For decades the San Pasqual tribe has had a graveyard to bury their deceased, but no place to honor their passing. In 2013, the tribe decided to change this and build a Traditional Cry House on land adjacent to their cemetery. Having recently designed a Cultural Center for the San Pasqual Band, Hubbell & Hubbell Architects was asked to work on the design of the new Spiritual House. The building consists of a large hall where the body of the deceased is displayed. Family and friends can come to mourn and pay their respects. The hall is surrounded by a covered porch and breezeway which allows for tribal members to gather outside of the hall, sheltered from the elements. A large kitchen and dining area allows family members to prepare and enjoy food. Sharing food is a big part of the communal experience.

The main entrance to the hall follows the Native American tradition of facing East toward the sunrise. The entry door opens to the adjacent cemetery allowing for direct access to the burial site. A circular window was located above the entry doors to celebrate the sunrise. A tubular skylight is positioned to illuminate the coffin while on display.