2011 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards

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Haven for Hope | Notes of Interest

Determined to change the plight of its homeless population, the city of San Antonio, Bexar County, and both non-profit and private organizations worked together to develop a comprehensive “campus of transformation,” which addresses and treats all root causes of homelessness. The project borders downtown to its east and a low-income community to its west with close proximity to a restoration center and public transportation.

The site itself was an industrial park that had included several abandoned warehouses. The unique challenge for this project was to create public spaces that invoked a campus environment while reaching out to the community.

The stakeholders’ goal was to not only provide services that treated the causes of homelessness but to create a flexible campus that would allow for the expansion of programs and the development of new ones. Architects and stakeholders also held design charrettes and progress meetings with service providers, interest groups, law enforcement, and neighborhood associations. The most important sustainability result is how it positively affects the city and each of its residents.

As a result of this state-of-the-art facility, city-based agencies such as University Health Systems and the Center for Health Care Services have become intimately involved in the operations, and volunteers are an integral part of the campus. It “has turned a formerly blighted area into an epicenter of promise and opportunity”.

Additional Credits

  • Associate Firm: Seventh Generation Design, Inc.; OCO Architects, Inc.; Drewry-Martin Architects; Valla Design Group
  • Engineer; MEP: Blum Consulting Engineers, Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Bender Wells Clark Design
  • Photo Credit: © Scott Adams, Hester + Hardaway

Haven for Hope

Jury Comments

So refreshing-- light, airy, colorful, and it feels safe. This is another example of design as a factor in creating a community.

This project stands out as embracing and uplifting the homeless through architecture.

It is so friendly and avoids any institutional feel, despite serving a large population.

2011 AIA Housing Awards Jury

  • Katherine Austin, AIA, Chair
  • Katherine Austin Architect
  • Sebastopol, Calif.
  • Claire Conroy
  • Residential Architecture Magazine
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Mike Jackson, FAIA
  • Historical Preservation Agency
  • State of Illinois
  • Springfield, Ill.
  • Luis Jauregui, AIA
  • Jaurequi, Inc.
  • Austin, Tex.
  • Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA
  • Florida International University Miami
  • Coconut Grove, Fla.

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