SANCTUARY FOR AUSTIN FAMILIES
This studio was co-taught by architect Elizabeth Danze and psychoanalyst Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg and was overseen by Overland Architects of San Antonio, Texas. Austin, Texas currently struggles with a rapidly growing population of homeless families and is seeking a solution. At the end of the studio, I led a presentation to the Austin City Council which outlined our findings and suggestions for the city.
The studio was highly interdisciplinary, with an equal emphasis on research and design. The project is located in east Austin on a site with steep grading. The entrance is deliberately understated, with views opening up to natural scenery, gardens, and pathways in the interior of the sanctuary. Shared facilities, such as caseworker offices, educational facilities, and lounges are grouped together to encourage spontaneous interaction between residents. Four rooms that each house one family share a communal kitchen and living space. The housing is designed to mimic apartments to provide a sense of independence and privacy for the families. In the center, there is a library that also serves as a non-denominational spiritual center.