• 2021 HONOREE
  • Student Awards

Pacific Northwest Multicultural Community Center

Jocelyn Quiroz

Student Designer

Jocelyn Quiroz

About the Project

In recent years, there has been a large increase in refugees fleeing their home country and seeking safety and freedom in the United States. International Recuse (IR) is a national non-profit charity specializing in providing refugees with housing and social services, in order to help them settle into their new environment and new lives.

On any given day, 2,000 children are in Border Patrol custody, hundreds of immigrant children who have been forcibly separated from their families. They come mostly from Central America, often seeking asylum in the US, due to the increase in violence, poverty, and lack of opportunities in their home countries.

Immigrant children must remain in custody until a sponsor is found. However, the Border Patrol is not prepared to give asylum to them. Children are kept in negligent and dangerous facilities, in conditions that can generate lifelong trauma.

There is a need to design a place that provides safe and sanitary conditions for children in custody, with adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, recreational and educational spaces.

IR is building this new refugee center in Portland, Oregon – a sanctuary state – with ethnic and cultural diversity. The refugee center is intended to welcome new refugees from Central America and provide them with a safe space for social services, education, job training, and community connection as they journey toward self-sufficiency and a new life in America.

Inspired by the primordial feeling of protection and shelter that a nest provides for the young; this shelter will seek to create a safe transitional environment for children and their families to continue their life path.

With natural and handmade materials, I will seek to create healing spaces that will help children overcome trauma. Through educational and play spaces, children will feel embraced and protected, giving them the possibility of reconnecting with nature, with the community, and with themselves.

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