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Eva's Phoenix (2016)

16 Mar 2017
 
Image Credit: Ben Rahn/A-Frame
Architectural Credit: LGA Architectural Partners (formerly Levitt Goodman Architects)
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario 
Architects: LGA Architectural Partners (formerly Levitt Goodman Architects)
Date of Completion: 2016

OAA Awards 2017 Design Excellence Finalist 


A neighbourhood within a building, Eva’s Phoenix is a fifty-bed transitional housing, education and skills training centre to youth, aged 16 – 24, in transition from homelessness to independent living. It includes offices, counselling areas, classrooms, teaching kitchen, workshop, clothing bank, full service commercial print shop in a new basement and more. Residents at Eva’s enjoy their own bedroom within a communal home shared with four other residents. The layering of spaces from private to public builds comfort and confidence, and gives the youth the ability to find their own level of participation as they integrate into the Eva’s community and social life of the building.





Unified Main Street: Eva’s light filled main street stitches together both halves of the former warehouse.
Photo Credit: Ben Rahn/A-Frame


The design is crafted by stitching together disparate parts of a historic warehouse, and organized around an expansive and spatially layered atrium awash in daylight. The architects created an internal ‘street” with 10 contemporary townhouses that are awash in natural light from new skylights, while also securely enclosed by the original brick walls. The 10 ‘houses’ activate this main street with sheltered entries, ground level common areas rising to overlooking second level private bedrooms and ‘rooftop’ support and counselling space. Carefully calibrated circulation controls access between resident, staff only, public and drop-in program areas.



Exisiting Condidtion: Warehouse before.
Photo Credit: Ben Rahn/A-Frame


Residents arrive from unique circumstances to transition out of homelessness to independent living. Creating a safe, uplifting and boldly non- institutional space was critical to Eva’s success. 

The key design aspects include: 

  • a highly developed section creating visibility and exposing the building’s vitality;
  • a carefully layered sequence between public, semipublic and private spaces that builds comfort as youth acclimatize and decide individual levels of participation; 
  • decentralizing staff and program areas to encourage an ebb and flow of activity; 
  • deploying colour to set a calming tone and in support of way finding; and
  • a house based format that fosters life skills and interaction amongst roommates.



Interconnection of Houses and Main Street: (left) House stairs ascending from common areas to open second floor corridors and private bedrooms. (right) Views of interconnected atrium, living room ans stair as seen from open second floor corridor. 
Photo Credit: Ben Rahn/A-Frame



Program Areas: (left) Commercial print shop and training labs within a new basement.  (right) Workshop of Eva's construction training program.
Photo Credit: Ben Rahn/A-Frame
 
 
Evicted for condos and relocated to this prime and rapidly gentrifying area, the project represents a courageous statement about inclusivity, equality and the type of city we want to build. Here, Eva’s is the first and a crucial element of the entire block’s redevelopment that includes a food hall, YMCA and condominium tower on the edge of an enhanced St. Andrew’s Park. An oasis unto itself, the design was sensitive to Eva’s need for a discrete outward appearance while being considerate of the original building’s qualities that contribute to a strong sense of place within the neighbourhood.
 
 
 
 

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Comments

April 24, 2017 20:00 by Anonymous
It is a much needed space and the project team has done a great job in terms of design concept and space use! It has my vote.
HD


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April 10, 2017 12:34 by Anonymous
I find it interesting that no other team members are provided with credit for these projects. I concede the design vision id that of the Architect, but many other team members toil and sweat to bring these projects to life and should get a nod


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April 06, 2017 13:18 by Anonymous
I have watched this project from start to finish. What a beautiful Miracle!
Thanks to all the people who played a part in this project to bring a life changing
experience to some deserving youth.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.
Ettie Dawkins


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April 06, 2017 13:17 by Anonymous
I have watched this project from start to finish. What a beautiful Miracle!
Thanks to all the people who played a part in this project to bring a life changing
experience to some deserving youth.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.


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