Asheville Design Center to build outdoor classroom for YWCA of Asheville


From the Asheville Design Center:

The Asheville Design Center is excited to announce our Asheville DesignBuild project for Summer of 2014. ADC will be partnering with the YWCA of Asheville to build an outdoor classroom for children taking part in their after-school and summer camp programs. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The YWCA serves 6,000 families a year through programs that bridge gaps in education, earning power, health and wellness, and access to child care for low-income and minority members of our community.

Over 200 children come and go from the YWCA daily. Located in a residential neighborhood with nowhere to grow, the YWCA needs help to ensure efficient use of the outdoor space, parking lot and optimum traffic flow. We have identified an unused grassy area where our studio will construct an outdoor classroom, gathering spot, and fitness area. Transforming this space and re-routing all after-school pick up and drop off traffic to the back lot will help the YWCA with their traffic problem while providing an exciting outdoor space for their students.

This area is located at the top of a set of stairs (which we hope to cover) and leads to a back parking lot. Along this staircase, this summer’s class will also design and install edible memorial garden to honor Laurey Masterson, a local activist and business entrepreneur.

This summer’s DesignBuild Studio project offers students of all design disciplines—architecture, landscape architecture, planning, engineering, graphic design, interior design—an opportunity to significantly contribute to the design and delivery of this new community asset. Students will encouraged to engage YWCA members and children, in addition to surrounding community members, to better inform their design process. Students will also have the opportunity to confer with the design team at Mathews Architecture, the firm responsible for the YWCA’s recent renovations and additions (and recipient of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ Firm of the Year Award in 2011).

Also, we are now accepting student applications to this summer’s studio, so if you know (or are) an aspiring design student who likes to get their hands dirty, please visit our website. Student applications are due by April 15th.


Tamara Graham April 8, 2014 - 5:29 pm

Awesome project! I hope the ADC and students will also look at potentially connecting the YWCA to the Clingman Forest greenway which abuts the YWCA property for access to potentially LOTS more outdoor space for the kids!

Kathleen Balogh April 7, 2014 - 7:25 am

This plan looks great and am so pleased to learn about the traffic reroute. Honoring Laurey, the earth, and the Beloved community!

Matt April 4, 2014 - 11:36 am

Awesome! Innovative! I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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