Center for Hope

August 13, 2015

Model & Render

Our goal was to create a community center that enabled members to gather for conferences and training seminars, but also facilitated smaller gatherings for classes. The challenge was prioritizing between daily use of classrooms and biannual conferences, even though the conference were critical events for the community. It felt pretty clear to give the daily learning activities more space, since it was one of the main purposes of this campus.

A center for vulnerable youth and those seeking religious freedom.

The AIM campus serves a few key roles. It provides safe housing and learning environments for disadvantaged young children in the Gujarat area. It creates a safe haven for Indians to practice their faith in a heavily Hindu-forward country. Finally, it enables people contributing to the mission to see the impact of their donations and time.

AIM raises funds in the states and this process has a noticeable influence on design decisions. The leadership in AIM felt the campus buildings needed to feel familiar to donors. This led the design team to use elements from campuses and churches that donors would recognize and feel inspired to contribute to. I found this strategy to be a struggle because it felt detached from Gujarat's materiality and architectural vernacular. However, I know that raising funds for a project of this scale is a challenge in itself and with time any piece of architecture can weave itself into the community.

Thoughts on improving families that stay and build on site.

When I visited the campus I walked through the building and noticed entire families were part of the construction team. They had set up temporary camps to live and work continuously on this project. I found their level of involvement to be very inspiring and felt that this project could have used some planning on making their lives and work both safer and more meaningful. Access to rain-proof shelter, water, and play areas for children are some elements that can drastically improve the time these families spend on site.

Check out AIM.

Let's build together.

values of a good partnership: