Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.
Describe this project in one word.
How does this project demonstrate design impact?
The Women’s Center (WiNGS – Women in Need of Generous Support) provides a place for women to find a path to a better life – personally and professionally. Dallas has the 3 rd highest poverty rate overall among major US cities*. Through its programs WiNGS can provide women with the opportunity to develop the financial, business, parenting, and health skills they need to escape poverty. This center is the first time this Dallas organization had a place to call home to support both their clients and employees.
(*data courtesy of WiNGS Dallas)
Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.
It is always an exciting endeavor to team with clients, but even more so with an organization that has an incredible mission. From the beginning, it was a privilege to vision with the organizational team on what this place would be – a place of hope and safety that they could call home. Lauckgroup offered its strategic programming and design services as a donation to the YWCA (now WiNGS) and was subsequently hired to complete the contract document and contract administration at cost by the organization’s board. It was a unique opportunity to team with consultants and vendors (like Shaw Contract) to find cost-effective design solutions that contributed to a space both empowering and comforting to its inhabitants. In the end, it was powerful to see the community rally around this project and positively impact families in our city.
Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.
The project was is considered adaptive reuse as the building previously functioned as an ambulance call center. It was overhauled from and asbestos-riddled, almost windowless state, to create an inviting, healthy space. The team had to get creative and really hone our process to work effectively and efficiently in tackling all these factors while simultaneously supporting the fundraising effort by incorporating visuals for potential donors and working with vendors to obtain discounted/donated products.
On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?
Everyone wants healthy spaces that are multifunctional – places to work in different ways and that can be used for different purposes depending on the need. The space planning for this building resulted in spaces of varied sizes overflowing into each other, which really allows for maximum flexibility. Clients and staff have options in the quality of space they meet and work – intimate vs expansive, lounge vs task, open vs enclosed, etc. It results in an effective space that encourages movement and one that many clients are seeing the value of.