Gwynne Pugh Urban Design Studio, in conjunction with garcia architecture + design, was recently selected from a pool of sixteen firms to design the new CAPSLO Homeless Services Center located in San Luis Obispo, California. Since 1997, there have been two shelters providing services to the homeless community. However, when the county offered a site, it was determined that a consolidated center would be able to operate much more efficiently, 24 hours a day. More details after the break.
The new Center will include a multitude of spaces that range from community rooms, day-use services areas, kitchen and community enterprise spaces, offices, medical and mental health areas, and dormitories. The overall design is structured around a central spine that guides the organization of the programming and distribution of services according to the cardinal directions. Security of the spaces increases from the public areas located on the West to the much more intimate and private areas on the East side of the building. A similar language is employed as the spaces become much more informal as one travels from North to South within the building. The Southern portion of the building is characterized by a porous public atmosphere with multiple exterior connections, while the Northern becomes inward focused and compartmentalized in response to its private focused functions.