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.
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 SEED Network’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