Long Beach, CA
“The best part of Camp Shiwaka is that we have fun, we learn, and we get to be with all the other groups.”
Camp Shiwaka is an inclusive day and overnight camp catering to children of families from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Camp Shiwaka is run by Campfire, one of the nation's leading youth development organizations and sits on a 6.8 acre parcel in Long Beach, California.
architecture350 in conjunction with Totum Consulting was asked to design a new complex of lodge buildings including a main lodge and two small ancillary lodge buildings totaling approximately 7,000 square feet. The lodges are set 18 inches below grade and are completely earth sheltered thus blending into the surrounding camp setting of trees, trails and open activity areas. The main gathering space, the Big Hall provides a rustic modern assembly area nestled into the landscape and topped with a 10' by 20' skylight providing abundant daylight and a strong earth/sky connection. This main space is flanked by support spaces including a Craft Room, Kitchen, Bathrooms, Storage areas and exterior canopied patios to the south all connected by wide vaulted and skylit circulation spaces.
The adjacent Round Lodge and Fireplace Lodges provide smaller and more intimate gathering spaces and accommodate overnight campers.