Building a space where young people feel welcome and supported improves retention and makes a genuine difference in their lives
The Uptown Hub, a youth center serving members between 14 and 24 years old, began with a mission—to cultivate a community that facilitates the engagement and retention of young people in employment and educational opportunities. It’s also focused on wellness, creative youth development, and recreational programming activities.
We were brought in to design a space that could be fun and focused. Additionally, the Uptown Hub would serve as an ambulatory care mental health clinic, with all the health and safety requirements included in that use.
By using stackable and nesting furniture in an open concept floor plan, we ensured that the main space was adaptable and accessible—and the commercial grade pool table along with a motorized projection screen and surround sound helps with communal activities. To account for safety and security, we designed open sightlines so staff can easily monitor activities, and cabinets and storage rooms are locked for staff-only access. We also placed nurse call buttons in restrooms and panic buttons in discreet locations. This built security into the design while maintaining user comfort.
With integrated technology throughout the design, discreet safety measures, high acoustic privacy for counseling, and inclusive design that accommodates diverse user needs, the Uptown Hub is designed to encourage youth engagement and retention in every aspect.
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