Bushwick Homebase

HomeBase is a Department of Homeless Services initiative designed to keep people from entering the shelter system. Their goal is to foster long term stability through short term financial assistance, landlord mediation, and financial education,

HomeBase was offered a space in the cellar of a new building. The chosen site presented two problems: How do you draw potential clients into the cellar of the building, and how do you make the cellar a great work environment?

In order to draw potential clients into the ground floor space and down into the cellar, we designed an object that begins as an awning, becomes the vertical circulation, and ultimately defines the circulation of the cellar space. This object functions both as a way finding device for clients, and as an architectural object that organizes space.

To ensure that the space provided a great work environment, we focused on maximizing the dynamism of light within the space. Through daylighting studies, we developed an open layout which allowed the natural light from skylights to travel deep into the space. The quality of this light changes throughout the day to help keep the HomeBase employees connected with the outside environment. The materials, which included polished concrete floors and translucent glass office walls, were selected to maximize the effect of the natural light.

For us, the constraints that make a space difficult, often become the inspiration for the design.


  • Brooklyn, NY