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Encompass Architects, p.c.

SAY IT LOUD - Nebraska  Exhibitor

Nebraska Based Designer


Tammy Eagle Bull, FAIA, is president of Encompass Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a former president of AIA Nebraska. She is also a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, which offers her unique insight into how to design for Native clients. Despite being committed at a young age to wielding the power of design, Eagle Bull would not be where she is today without a committed father who explained the positives and potential negatives of architecture, along with financial assistance from AIA’s Diversity Advancement Scholarship.



The Great designer, Tammy's dad had wanted to be an architect since he was in high school. He grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and his father, a tribal leader, once said, “One day, our tribe will be in a position to rebuild and change our situation, and we are going to need architects and lawyers to do it.” But when my father went to his non-Native counselor at school, the counselor said, “The best you can hope for is to be a teacher.” So he became a teacher, and had a wonderful career, but he always regretted not becoming an architect.


When I was young, he saw that I had a knack for design, for drawing, for thinking in 3D. He would tell me stories about architects who would show up to the reservation and—without asking questions—interpret for themselves what the local culture was: A turtle-shaped building, a buffalo-shape building. He explained all the negatives that can come from poor design; afterwards, design that makes a positive impact became my singular focus.

Because part of his job was working with financial aid officers, he helped me find the AIA scholarship and others that would make school a real possibility. What the AIA scholarship did for me was allow me to move toward that dream; this scholarship plus two or three others allowed me to pay for school all the way through.


During a lecture a few months ago, a student asked me, “As a Native American architect and as a female architect, which one comes with the most issues?” My gut response was: being a female. When people hear that I am Native American and an architect, I almost always get a positive reaction. But when I was at a job site a few weeks ago, the superintendent could not seem to move forward without my gender getting in the way. He was commenting on my shoes, how I was dressed. I am the owner of a company with 30 years of experience; let’s talk about the building.

Featured Project Name: 

Pahin Sinte Owayawa (Porcupine School)

Featured Project Location: 

Porcupine, SD

Featured Project Completion Date: 


Featured Project Description:

This modern learning facility is designed to serve a student population of 300 students and is programmed to facilitate and support multi-grade learning units. Additionally, new program space includes educational, administrative and support spaces, gymnasium with a special bamboo (rapidly-renewable resource) playing surface, locker rooms, food services, media center, special education facilities, and support for science, art, and music.

This new school is modern in two ways: the way it functions with students, and in the environmentally responsible way it was designed and built. The building itself is LEED® Certified at a Silver level. It was awarded this honor for following stringent building practices and operating in an energy efficient manner. At the heart of the building lies a complete geothermal heating and cooling system to efficiently condition the building. Twenty-five percent of the building materials were regionally extracted or manufactured, and 28% of the material was recycled content. The Construction Waste Program implemented by Scull diverted 80.33% of the waste from the landfill by either re-use or recycling.

Photography Credit:

Scull Construction

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