We provided full architectural services for a six-bedroom 3,400 SF house for homeless veterans. The facility includes generous indoor and outdoor storage, smoking porch, and a staff office. The house was designed to meet ADA requirements.
The facility retained the charm and sense of the scale of the Craftsman bungalow originally built on the site. The design blended some of the rustic homey comfort of a bungalow with hard-wearing, low-cost, low maintenance materials and fixtures.
Site planning for this project was the key to its success. During the solicitation period of this project, King County discovered that the property, which they had already purchased, may be unbuildable because of unforeseen site issues. King County determined that, in lieu of an oral interview, they would have the short-listed architectural firms evaluate the property and explore the potential of the site.
Our approach was to be honest and realistic with the housing authority, informing them with the limitations of the site, given the difficult existing conditions and the limited resources available to develop this project. Over 50% of the property was wetlands, possible peat bog, or unsuitable fill material. The solution we came up with maximized the site potential and met the requirements set forth by King County.
Perhaps the most rewarding portion of the project was the opinions of the residents. Transitional housing is supposed to be a short-term occupancy – from homeless to employable. The residents conveyed that the pride in their living conditions increased their self-esteem and helped their transition back into society.