Mary’s Home

Realization May 24, 2015

PROJECT TYPE

LOCATION

South side, Colorado Springs

PROJECT COMPLETION

2015

ABOUT THE CLIENT

Mary’s Home, part of the non-profit Dream Centers, took on a complete remodel of an existing, derelict 17-unit apartment building just east of the downtown area. The conversion has given Mary’s Home a place to safely uphold their mission of providing a community that helps women and children break from the cycles of poverty and homelessness,

Dignity through Design

This project is a direct result of DreamCenters’ mission to provide health and hope for those working to rebuild their dreams and lives. A primary goal from the beginning was to provide “Dignity through Design”; to create a space that felt warm, welcoming, and dignified, and NOT like subsidized housing. Underprivileged mothers and their children are able to call this place home as they learn to rebuild their skills and lives in a community environment; creating a foundation for a successful future.

The existing building was completely transformed, although to keep the budget in tact the original room layouts and circulation remained as is. The roof was removed and replaced with a vaulted truss that raises up to the views and path of the sun to the south. The stucco was refreshed and lightened up while cedar accents were added to provide the building with a warm and homey feel.

“Being a resident on this same street, the overall appearance of this facility adds a vibrance and feeling of pride to the neighborhood. It is so clean and fresh looking! I wish the owners of the multi-housing buildings on my street and further down took as much pride in ownership!”

Neighbor

BEFORE + AFTER

The interiors were addressed with warm, natural, and low VOC materials that provide the tenants with a comfortable and healthy place to live and raise their children. Bright, cheery colors were used to provide a feeling of joy throughout the space. Windows and insulation were upgraded to provide quiet and comfortable interiors interiors, comfortable, and the building more sustainable. This, along with Energy Star appliances and lighting, and low-flow water fixtures, were used to help keep utility costs low, important for the planet and this non-profits bottom line.

The front yard was raised and leveled to provide outdoor play areas and gardens for the tenants and their children. The retaining walls to create this level front yard are poured-in place, board-formed concrete. This move not only creates a useable front yard but also provides visual and auditory separation from the buys Airport Road to the south. The board forms, railing spacing, and cedar details (inside and out) all share the same spacing providing a continuity in the design throughout the entire site.

We are so proud to have been a part of this project and love that not only are 17 mothers off the streets but they are in a safe place that is almost as beautiful as they are.

Photographs by Richard Seldomridge