09 September, 2010

Community Service Project – St. Barnabas

By LuAnne Silvia, ASID
The first Community Service Project I worked on was the one I brought to our chapter of ASID. I called the office and inquired about what kind of projects the committee was taking on, and the committee thought it sounded like a great project and welcomed me to join them as Co-Chair. At the time the committee was made up of ASID interior designers Mary Dworsky, Gigi Olive and Margaret Thompson all who had served on the committee for several years together.  Also new to the committee was Holly Bayer of Hauthaus.
The project was exciting: the old St Barnabas hospital building in downtown Minneapolis was being donated to Aeon (Central Community Housing Trust at the time) to renovate into apartment units for homeless youth. Our committee was asked to for design input on the main entrance/lobby, reception desk, waiting area, community room, computer learning center, counselor offices and bath rooms. The spaces needed to feel warm and welcoming, supportive and safe, inspiring.
We went to work and came up with a design concept: to unify the spaces through vibrant accents of bold color and provide an artistic sense to the space that would connect with the youthful spirit of the residents. We enlisted the help of a talented local artist Anna Berglin to create a full wall mural of tile mosaic. The impact was an immediate impact upon entering the space that drew you in, welcomed you home, and said this is a welcoming, supportive, fun space to be.
Our material boards for the projectst barn board
st barn board 2
Rendered sketch of mosaic tile wall elevation concept
st barn
Photos of the finished spacest barn tile
st barn recept
Aeon won a Children's Leadership Award for the proejct in 2005 from The Sheltering Arms Foundation. You can read more about the project at:

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