The new home for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity raises their voice in the community and creates a space to engage a broader audience in their mission. It works to make physical connections between the community, families, and the Habitat staff. It creates everyday experiences that emphasize the phenomenal nature of the organization's work.
The material palette is modest. Residential sized windows are incorporated into the metal panel exterior wall to create both visual and spatial interest throughout. The design team embraced the idea of using the scale and experience of the residential window as part of the project's overall architectural concept. Openings were designed to correspond with interior conditions, much like openings in residential homes.
One of the key design elements for the building was an urban front porch, connecting the building to the houses designed for families. The strong architectural corner opens up at the base to create a pedestrian friendly experience, revealing the primary entrance, reception, and gathering space within the building. This powerful symbol of the front porch connects the exterior and interior experiences. The building is tight to the corner of the street and the design team wanted to use this as a design feature, locating rocking chairs in the front windows to further symbolize a front porch. The reception area was designed to be a community space that felt comfortable for all visitors.
The process of getting a home is often scary, unfamiliar, and complex. Habitat wished for a space that made families feel hopeful about the process of homeownership. The design accomplishes this through an interior material palette that is colorful and playful, consisting of everyday materials that provide warmth and inspiration. Salvaged and re-purposed elements, emphasizing the connection back to the home, were incorporated into the project.