Domestic Violence Shelter

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This project is the design of a domestic violence shelter for women and children. The site is on a corner surrounded by busy roads and the site has acute solar exposure. This project seeks to create privacy using methods that enhance the human experience and facilitate healing.


Project type

Low Budget, new construction with integrated food systems



Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, Colorado


Project Intention

The intention of this project is to challenge the concept that low-income or low-budget architecture correlates to low quality of life. How can architecture sooth humans during a time of vulnerability while supporting human health & fostering individual growth?


Living Food Systems Architecture?

Living Food Systems Architecture is a system that I personally developed in response to a need I saw being unfilled.

LFSA is the design integration of Wellness, Food Systems and Architecture. It is endlessly scaleable yet humble in its origins. It  can be everything from an ala carte menu of a potted plant with lighting to a cohesive architecural response equipped with integrated living walls, water treatment and solar design. 

For this case study, Living Food Wall Systems was applied. LFWS is a tool under the umbrella of Living Food Systems Architecture.


Design concept

Interlock of programmatic zones defines building structure and response to climate dictates form.

In architecture, conceptual design decisions are often expressed in diagram form. These diagrams explain in 2D and 3D the integration of the buildings programming. 


Program layer zones

Program layers are composed of zones that are both horizontal & vertical and in sequence

1   the subtraction of void

2   weave & interlock of programmatic layers + circulation creates void in central core

3  secondary subtractions & morphology create outdoor space

4  overlap of massing & subtractions to create programming.


midterm DESign

MIDTERM MODEl - Design systems

Experimentation with a translucent, yet breathable double-skin system paired with Living Food Systems Architecture. This system is important, because humans that have an intuitive connection to their food source are less likely to be obese or struggle with their weight.


Benefits include

1  reduce solar insolation

2 has air purification properties

3  offers the medicinal properties of biophilia on the human psyche to heal trauma

4 teaches children about food cultivation

5 empowerment through skill training


Midterm Model Diagrams

Orientation & spatial distribution of interior programming 


SKIN with STRUCTURE Diagrams

Enshrouding double-skin in interior creates privacy. The skin attaches to the primary structure & a secondary structure is in place. This secondary structure supports the Living Food Systems Wall. 

This double skin system could be used as a tool to grow food systems & to enhance User quality of life. This concept was deemed cost prohibitive & was abandoned after mid-terms but this concept remains relevant. This is best applied in higher-end new construction than in lower income projects. However the creative concept & material was considered successful. 


Built Model

Bass wood and acrylic


Final design


The facade expresses program distribution & tectonics of circulation. A double-height interior atrium is created to allow for administrative & activity distribution along circulation route. 



The side entrance has an overhead condition from 16th street for security purposes. The parking entrance is through the alleyway to allow users a concealed entry & exit.



Administrative areas act as a buffer from the public facade, while the advocacy spiral acts as a diagonal connection unifying the different functional zones. This programming contains the advocacy offices & administrative spaces.



A collection of residential pods with community area, kitchen & individual bathrooms. 

Wheelchair accessible room & bath

Roof garden & community spaces

Smoking zone is restricted to concealed roof area.



Laundry room

ECS - environmental control systems

Food Storage

Equipment & resource storage 

Staff facilities: kitchen, lunch/ break room & restroom

Below grade parking garage with 12 parking spots



Exercise room & yoga room

Multipurpose therapy & art room

Community counseling

Childcare playrooms - both indoor & outdoor for mixed age groups.


built Model


digital model

Site plan & floor plans


Interior Perspectives 

Fourth floor community living room & kitchen with garden balcony in the background

Top floor circulation with afternoon sun


Ground level stairwell & translucent elevator

          Fourth floor garden balcony