Project of a Lifetime

It was the project of a lifetime, and Sacramento-based home builder John Deterding approached it with his usual care for the land and reverence for his clients.

The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, owners and operators of the Cache Creek Casino Resort located 50 miles northwest of Sacramento, approached John about designing and building a multi-generational housing village on Indian land near the casino. The development had to reflect the Tribe’s proud heritage and speak to its great hope for the future.

The project was unique and difficult: how to tie together 18 architecturally distinctive homes and eight townhouses in the beautiful and growing Capay Valley. The Tribe wanted the homes to be multi-generational, with minimal impact on its beloved environment.

John turned to friend and innovative designer Brent Smith who, as a close friend once put it, “truly believed that we were here to transform matter into spirit and touch the soul.” Brent had never designed a house that didn’t fit the owner’s needs or spirit, and this project was no exception.

The first challenge was to win the trust of the small tribe. After several months of research and meetings with tribal leaders, the two men came up with a village plan that encourages neighbors to interact and enable families to strengthen and deepen their community relationships.