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Descriptive Narrative:

This project is a proposal for a multi-family residential facility with a community center, resident medical clinic, and an emergency shelter.


Form and Spatial Narrative:


The intent of the design is to:

  1. Create a sense of belonging and permanence by designing the individual buildings with an anchor space.

  2. Create a sense of empathy by connecting the buildings with interlocking spaces, landscaping, and water features.



  • Research: Migrant farm workers are vital to the economy of California and the nation and they are at the same time one of the most under-served communities. Therefore it was necessary to determine:

  1. The needs of the migrant farm workers

  2. Sources of additional funding

  3. Possible partnerships with the surrounding community

  • Program development: The self-identified needs of the community include:

  1. Access to medical care

  2. Transportation

  3. Education

  4. Food security

  5. Daycare

  • Site analysis: Challenges on the site include:

  1. Possible flooding

  2. Possible liquefaction

  3. Water contamination from effluent run off from agriculture

  4. Hot dry climate

  • Codes and regulations: In order to provide for the needs of the community it would be necessary to:

  1. Apply for a zone change

  2. Provide emergency housing

  • Concept development: A series of 1 & 2 story double envelope structures with the exterior envelope serving as a sunshade and the second story as emergency housing / growing area / area of refuge.                                                                                                                   


Needs and Proposed Solutions:

  • Allowable uses

  1. Multi-family housing, a community center, and a medical clinic are needed. This would require a zone change and combining the parcels to meet the minimum area requirement of the zone change.

  2. The County of Riverside has made it a goal to increase the number of emergency housing facilities.

  • Shelter for permanent and seasonal workers

42 apartment units and a 100 bed emergency shelter

  • Non-resident (of the multi-family complex) workers

       The community center, medical clinic, and accessory buildings would provide:

  1. access to medical care

  2. showers

  3. toilet facilities

  4. laundry

  5. cooking facilities

  6. food and clothing storage lockers

  7. learning opportunities

  • Access to medical care (self-identified need)

       On-site clinic and 5 off-site clinics

  • Transportation (self-identified need) 

         2) State leased vans                                                                                                            

  • Education (self-identified need)

       Learning and computer rooms in the community center

  • Food security (self-identified need)

       Resident growing areas and the local food bank

  • Information as to social services available

       On site staff in the community center

  • Access to legal services

       Computer room in the community center and local legal aid

  • Daycare (almost half of the workers are accompanied by spouses and children)

       Community center

  • Reduce isolation

       Community center, community patios

  • Water contamination

       Reverse osmosis filtration system

  • Liquefaction

       Stone columns

  • Flooding

       Areas of refuge on the second story of the buildings

  • Climate

       Shade structures, water features

  • Budget

       Precast concrete would be the most sustainable material given the possibility of flooding on the site

Additional Funding

United States Department of Health and Human Services (Healthcare,

Federal Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, Migrant Education Even Start)

County of Riverside Department of Public Social Services EFSP Emergency

Food and Shelter Program

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund DWSRF (direct loans

for construction projects) for the water purification system

Office of Fleet and Assessment Management for the leasing of 2 vans


Possible partnerships


Coachella Valley Unified School District and Riverside County

Department of Education and YMCA for: MSHS, MEES, and after school

reading and homework programs



  • (16) 832 sq. ft. 1 bedroom apartments 13312 sq. ft. total                                                                                          

  • (16) 1024 sq. ft.  3 bedroom apartments 16384 sq. ft. total                                                                                           

  • (10) 1590 sq. ft. 4 bedroom apartments 15900 sq. ft. total                                                                                            

  • 5120 sq. ft. community center                                                                                                                                

  • 1024 sq. ft. resident medical clinic                                                                                                                              

  • (9) spaces  / 18344 sq. ft. total rooftop area / 100 bed emergency shelter / area of refuge / sunshade / growing area on off season                                                                                                                            

  • (2) accessory buildings 3072 sq. ft. total resident laundry / showers / restrooms                                                         

  • 1280 sq. ft. resident growing area                                                                                                                             

  • 30568 sq. ft. total rooftop area of refuge / sunshade / resident growing area                                                                 

  • (9) resident courtyards 49148 sq. ft. total                                                                                                                   

  • (12) re-circulating water features                                                                                                                                     

  • 157 total spaces/ 52 spaces for overflow parking for the 100 bed emergency shelter

Empathetic Architecture

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