The school for the arts + domestic abuse center is a space that allows individuals agency and support at every stage of their recovery through integration into a dynamic community. This approach to a school for outsiders is two pronged. The school of the arts features programs in fine arts, music, and performance while having an on-campus initiative serving survivors of domestic abuse. Both a school and a shelter have the capability to act as a supporting base for the user. The urgency of the experience of seeking shelter in contrast to the routine and structure that a school offers led to the incorporation of the arts programming. By doing so, the community is able to share a specific passion, skill, or interest that acts as a beacon that further coalesces the two programs. This allows any user–whether it be a student, survivor, artist, or patron– to be welcomed into a safe, dynamic space.
The project retains the strength and intimacy of the existing structure by keeping the bookends of the original C.B.J. Snyder H-block plan and respecting the allotment courtyard spaces. The project includes an embracing u-shape to the upper levels which is reserved for the users who occupy campus the most–the shelter residents. The form is lifted up and pulled vertically in opposite directions to optimize the views of the living spaces while creating a new public area below with the enclosed open airpark.