SEEDocs: Bancroft School Revitalization

Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) have released the latest installment of SEEDocs, their series of awesome, mini-documentaries that highlight inspirational stories of award-winning public interest design projects.

While June’s doc featured an incredible community garden in New Orleans, designed/built with help from the Tulane School of Architecture’s Tulane City Center, this month focuses on the revitalization of an abandoned, abestos-ridden school in Manheim Park, a low-income, neglected neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.

Check out more images and info about this empowering project, after the break…
Rendering for the Bancroft School in Kansas City, Missouri. Part of a revitalization effort by the community of Manheim Park, the Make It Right Foundation, and BINM Architects. Photo © BNIM Architecture + Planning

Hoping to revitalize their neighborhood, Manheim Park residents approached BNIM Architects with the idea of turning a derelict, boarded-up school into a revitalized community center that would encourage community engagement. With the help of the Make It Right Foundation, BNIM collaborated with the neighborhood residents to design a multi-use center that will feature affordable housing units, a health clinic, and public gathering space.

The approach, which integrated the local community into the process from the start, epitomizes the ’s mantra: “trust the local.” The result, in the words of Saundra Hayes, the President of the Historic Manheim Park Neighborhood Association, was empowering for the architects and the community as a whole: “This project has uplifted humanity [...not by] inducing dependence but creating empowerment – and that’s powerful.”

More Info at SEEDocs 

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "SEEDocs: Bancroft School Revitalization" 21 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>