Crittenton Services of North Carolina

Charlotte, NC

When Crittenton North Carolina – an organization serving women and girls facing cycles of trauma and abuse – needed to relocate quickly, the designers delivered this supportive, welcoming facility on an expedited schedule.  Always keeping the residents and hardworking staff in mind, the uplifting spaces are tailored to the program of rebuilding self-esteem and gaining education and life skills.

The client had been living for years with a hodgepodge of donated furniture and art. The new building was an opportunity for a fresh start. The layout is an “H” shaped plan with an administrative/commons wing and three residential wings connected by additional shared fitness, classroom, meditation, and computer spaces. The program includes the Maternity Wing for at-risk pregnant women, the Legacy Wing for long term foster care clients, and Sarah’s House Wing for young mothers and their children. Shared spaces are located such that no one has to pass through another program’s spaces for access, and the footprint allows abundant natural light into all of the interior spaces to encourage a sense of wellbeing.

The project had to meet all the stringent requirements of an institutional healthcare setting, but still needed to feel welcoming and residential-scale.  The dedicated wings allow each individual to feel like they have a home within a home. Each wing has its own character and features a different color theme to create a sense of identity and help with wayfinding without traditional institutional signage. The residential wings include a lounge area with kitchen, laundry facilities, and staff support areas; commercial grade furnishings and fabrics with a residential feel are both durable and cozy, and the artwork and accessories are home-like and inviting. Colorful barn doors provide flexibility to close off spaces for more privacy when needed, and the flexible furnishings create multiple settings in which residents can study, relax, and dine. Vaulted ceilings in the main living space, stone fireplace, and mantle feel both homelike and modern.

The color palette for the facility found its roots in the organization’s logo, with strong but feminine color schemes including purples, magentas, blues, and greens. These colors harmonize with pleasant, warm, wood-look plank flooring. The constrained budget required creativity to provide a fresh, youthful atmosphere with economical accent materials. Playful use of paint, accent lighting, and color create pops of interest. In lieu of expensive wainscotting, dark teal paint was used in the living room and main corridor to ground the space and provide a finish that would stand up to wear and tear. Art created by the residents became both an inspiration and a focal point for the dining room.

The resulting design delivered expediently and economically to create a place where young women will heal, grow, and flourish.

 RECOGNITIONS: 2021 IIDA Carolinas DesignWorks Awards Healthcare Winner