Hagar’s House: Project Ish

Small Center worked with First Grace Community Alliance (FGCA) to design and build an Outdoor Enrichment Room for the children living at Hagar’s House. Known as Project Ish, the space provides a playroom and educational area for children transitioning from homelessness to a stable living situation.

Project Dates

August 2010–December 2010

Context

New Orleans has a patchwork of shelters and transitional housing run by different organizations to address the needs of our city’s homeless. Often these facilities serve only men meaning that less space is available for women and even less for women with children. First Grace Community Alliance (FGCA) addresses this need by providing Hagar’s House, a transitional home for women and children.

Small Center Engagement

Small Center worked with FGCA to design and build an Outdoor Enrichment Room for the children living at Hagar’s House. Known as Project Ish, the space provides a playroom and educational area for children transitioning from homelessness to a stable living situation. The project involved converting the existing back deck of the shelter into an enclosed, safe, multifunctional space, which is an extension of the house and is situated between the home and the community garden.

Fifteen students worked collaboratively on the design of the project with continual input from the residents and staff of Hagar’s House. The compact (400 s.f.) and expressive scheme includes a linear storage wall, a loft playspace, and a butterfly roof which collects rainwater to be used in the adjacent community garden. The project was designed and built in the fall of 2010 over the course of a 13-week studio.

Partner Organization

The mission of First Grace Community Alliance (FGCA) is to work with and for people in need, especially women and their children, by meeting food, housing and other emergency needs, while simultaneously challenging systemic poverty in the greater New Orleans area. Hagar’s House is a program of FGCA that provides temporary housing for women and children.

Outcome

Since 2010, Hagar’s House has provided a safe, beautiful, and clean space for women, children, and trans people to call home.

Collaborators

First Grace Community Alliance

Hagar's House

  • Angela Davis

Project Ish

Team Members

Project Lead

  • Emilie Taylor Welty (Project Lead)

Students

  • Cristina Alvarado
  • Laura Casaccio
  • Veronica Cordova
  • Daniel Demeules
  • Laura DiIorio
  • Joshua Frederick
  • Cassandra Gibbs
  • Ross Kelley
  • Oren Mitzner
  • Samantha Nourse
  • Justin Park
  • Cameron Ringness
  • Justin Siragusa
  • Eric Sullivan
  • Michael Visintainer

Staff

  • Scott Bernhard
  • Dan Etheridge

Support

  • Johnson Controls, Inc.