Empowering At-Risk Youth
Restoration Gardens 2
Restoration Gardens 2
This new residence empowers at-risk youth with independent living accommodations and supportive resources. Set in the East Baltimore’s Pen Lucy neighborhood, the building offers studio apartments for young people who are aging out of foster care or have experienced houselessness.
Cozy apartment units feature full bathrooms and kitchens, along with built-in furniture and storage pieces that reduce the amount of furniture residents need to provide for themselves. Versatile common spaces support workforce training, education, counseling, and other services that help build self-sufficiency. Restoration Gardens 2 has become a prominent community anchor and has spurred additional development in the neighborhood.
We’re breaking the cycle of trauma that led them to us, and giving them the tools necessary to live independently and sufficiently once they go on to permanent housing.
Building on Success
We designed the original Restoration Gardens, which opened in 2010 and has been very successful. Our design for the new development is informed by Restoration Gardens 1’s residents, case workers, and building managers, whose recommendations included reconfiguring common spaces for more privacy.
Our design responds to the historic residential context by incorporating red brick and a gabled roof. We preserved an existing stone wall with a wrought iron gate, incorporating them into the site design. The effect is a building that harmonizes with its neighbors.
Common areas include a community room, classrooms, a computer lab, and a demonstration kitchen. These spaces allow partner organizations to provide on-site services like health screenings, resume-writing workshops, cooking classes, and resource fairs.
A Community Catalyst
Restoration Gardens 2 has been a transformational project for its neighborhood. Prior to its construction, the community had not attracted the interest of for-profit developers. Today, property values in the vicinity have increased and new projects are springing up nearby.
Sustainable by Design
Energy efficiency strategies keep utility costs down. Energy Star appliances, a centralized variable refrigerant flow HVAC system, high-efficiency boilers, and LED lighting have contributed to significant cost savings. The standing seam metal roof was designed to accommodate for future solar panels.