Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]
We have all experienced the trauma of building new relationships from little or nothing. Some of us were able to blend in quickly, while others remain outsiders or foreigners. As a student studying interior architecture, I believe that design can influence human behavior and help to reshape the relationship between communities.
485 Plainfield St, a historical building built for ice cream production is currently owned by an organization called “Open Doors,” who provides temporary housing and skill classes for the formerly incarcerated to re-enter society. Interactions between the surrounding community and formerly incarcerated are infrequent, and due to the lack of transition from the street to the building that might bring these groups together, the existing structure’s typology failed to support Open Doors’ goal of reintroduction. A gap exists between the organization and the local community, causing a push back/ rejection to the “newcomers.”
By pivoting the interior enclosure of the historic factory and creating semi-outdoor spaces that blur the physical boundary between street and Open Doors as well as the visual barrier between inside and outside, the organization integrates with its community, encouraging more interactions in the intermediate spaces. A farmer’s market, urban farming and horticulture program are added to the proposal to generate sharing and exchanging between the formerly incarcerated and their neighbors, offering the community a solution to the food desert problem, while at the same time, reminding residents of the beloved ice cream factory.
Song, Ruoyi, "Breaking barriers, opening doors : integrating the formerly incarcerated with community" (2019). Masters Theses. 379.
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