- 2021 HONOREE
- Long View
Positive Resource Center
Gensler + Revel Architecture & Design
Bert deViterbo Jr.
EGD Design Director
About the Project
The team partnered with the Architect of Record to create PRC, a comprehensive center that integrates the services provided by Positive Resource Center, AIDS Emergency Fund, and Baker Places. The team was commissioned to design the new community hub that supports San Francisco’s most marginalized and vulnerable population to help them overcome barriers to good health, shelter, and stability. The design concept was “One Roof” inspired by a metaphorical bridge to betterment along the continuum of care. This one-stop community hub provides a safe and non-judgemental space where clients can find the support needed to rebuild their lives.
The design team and PRC identified a location that could accommodate the needs of their clients and staff while being cost-effective to update and customize. PRC desired a progressive approach to workplace design so the team created a space to encourage mobility and choice. There is forty small private one-tone room for mentoring and crisis counseling plus employee focus time. A large conference room is available for presentations, workshops, and community and leadership meetings. A learning zone, including a computer lab for 24 students and a beverage bar was added for gathering, providing additional open workspace and fostering greater opportunities for casual conversation, general interaction, and small meetings. The welcoming reception area greets clients with color and soft furniture provides a homey feeling for many who have been without.
Now the newly collocated staff can work in the style that best suits their needs and the needs of their clients. With a continuum of care in one location, PRC’s clients can access the comprehensive services needed to escape poverty and become self-sufficient.
“Creativity, Empathy, Vision. It’s not easy, to sum up, the skill set that the design team brought to the project for the design of PRC’s Integrated Service Center in San Francisco. Or to communicate how effectively this skill set was embodied by each member of the team. They all had these core personal characteristics and were somehow able to align the creative process with PRC’s organizational values and our clients’ needs. This ultimately translated into a highly functional and innovative space.
What was it like to be a part of this team? It felt like I was truly a part of the team from the very beginning. My input wasn’t just noted, it was taken seriously, and every concern was incorporated into the design process, if not the final design. And the feedback process was remarkable. The team came back with however many iterations were needed–and there were many!
The remarkable thing to me was how robust and reliable the design process was. After going through an iterative process–a progressive one in which each developmental stage was built upon the last–when we arrived at the final stage the design held together from one floor to the next, from floor to ceiling and front to back.
Working with the team is truly one of the highlights of my progressional career and ranks pretty high up on my list of personal accomplishments. In the end, it’s exceedingly rare that one’s experience with a group of people ranks as highly as their creative output.”
Chief Strategy Office
Long View Statement
The integration of the three social services agencies, the AIDS Emergency Fund, Positive Resource Center, and Baker Places, into PRC created a more focused and impactful organization–a change initiated and supported by the late Mayor Ed Lee. By co-locating these services within the heart of the neighborhoods they serve, this project has a direct impact on the resilience and sustainability of the community. To lift those in need, you must first meet them where they are, which is the empathetic care PRC’s employees bring to SoMa, the Tenderloin, and the neighboring communities they serve.
“One Roof” is a story of one city working together. Without the time, donations, fundraising, and creative solutions of the greater design community of San Francisco, this project would not have been realized into the beacon of hope it is today. Material suppliers and manufacturers worked with PRC to find discontinued, slightly damaged, overstocked, or returned items that they were able to discount or donate to the project. Local tech companies and vendors donated their used furniture to further reduce waste streams.
PRC staff previously sat in a converted storage closet or interior meeting room without windows or air conditioning and now work alongside each other in an open office with operable windows and supporting HVAC. This project repurposed a forgotten warehouse building and immediately breathed a new life into the surrounding streetscape. The colorful exterior echoes the optimism within a resilient community under “One Roof” building a bridge to betterment along the continuum of care.