Northwest Youth Corp

Originally constructed as Laurel Hill Elementary School in 1954, the current Northwest Youth Corps facility was designed as a traditional primary school. Since that original concept the site has received numerous additions and renovations, leaving the facility broken into several disjointed pieces, hindering flow and usability. Under the direction of Northwest Youth Corps, different needs and an alternative view of education gave rise to a vision for change.  By bringing light, air, and a sense of the Northwest Youth Corps’ connection to the outdoors into the space the design achieved its intent of a renovation that unifies, motivates and educates. The renovation includes a grand entry canopy and hall, inviting visitors and staff alike from point of visual contact, through the front doors, and into the building. Articulating this journey are cedar 12x12 columns and clerestory windows recalling a forest canopy and Northwest Youth Corps’ work and mission. Renovations to inefficient work spaces and offices provide a new center for recruitment and operations that better serve Northwest Youth Corps’ needs. In this time of dwindling resources this facility will stand out as an example of adaptive reuse.