As I mentioned in an earlier post, at the end of 2013 HiWorks and Urbanist Design were approached by Link Ministries in Lubbock, Texas to help expand their homeless assistance center. For months we've been hard at work on this effort and we are incredibly excited about the resulting design. After a press conference and public unveiling yesterday, we are finally able to share it with the outside world.
Located east of Lubbock’s central business district, Link Ministries' current facilities are located on the 5-acre site of a former cotton gin. After years of using the existing agricultural buildings and army surplus tents, the program has grown to a point where a more coordinated architectural response is required. A design team that also included Studio Outside and students from Texas Tech University’s Urban Tech program worked closely with Link Ministries to develop a program and conceptual design for an expanded facility to connect those in need with facilities and programs to help Lubbock’s neediest through a difficult time in their lives.
The design approach expands the formal language of the existing buildings while at the same time creating functional and dignified facilities for the residents. In addition to refurbishing the existing cotton gin structure, a new chapel is extruded from it, creating a spiritual and iconic landmark for both the facility and the city. Support buildings and perimeter walls are built of compressed earth block, a material that requires minimal skill to construct and that the residents themselves can help construct.
The people we've been working with in Lubbock are amazing. The years of work and research they've invested in getting to this point speak to their dedication to ending homelessness. The work done by Overland Partners in their Haven for Hope and Bridge Homeless Assistance Center projects has proven to be a great inspiration for both the client and architect alike.
For us at HiWorks, the High Cotton Genesis Center represents a special kind of project that allows us in a very direct way to fulfill our mission of providing an innovative, functional and beautiful built environment to improve individual lives and thus make the world a better place.