Designed for refuge and recovery, The Night Ministry’s new home provides an oasis for security, independence, and safety for young adults facing adversity.
Three floors of a 1910 heavy-timber manufacturing building, known for its large murals covering its facades, are renovated for the organization’s new headquarters. The space includes: “The Crib” – an overnight shelter for young adults ages 18-24, a serving kitchen and dining space, administrative offices, meeting rooms, and multi-purpose programming space for social services, job assistance, and group activities.
To reinforce feelings of security, safety, and privacy, a new entrance created from a former loading dock welcomes overnight guests on the side of the building away from the busy street; a large awning above and ramp provide protection and accessibility. Here and throughout, glass doors and windows are critical elements designed to build trust, allowing guests to glimpse inside before entering to further alleviate feelings of stress.
Inside “The Crib”, which operates on the first floor, corridor space is reduced to increase openness, visibility, and monitoring, thus promoting feelings of emotional and physical safety. Meeting rooms and private offices along the large windows serve as a buffer, filtering daylight into the central multipurpose space while still maintaining confidentiality for guests. The sleeping room, showers, and restrooms are positioned to maximize quietness and privacy.
The second and third floors are home to The Night Ministries administrative offices, where all employees and volunteers can now meet under one roof. A new central communicating stair connects the second and third floors, creating a visual and physical connection between departments.
Throughout the organization’s interior spaces, painted murals complement the building’s exterior signage. These feature walls, commissioned by local Chicago art students, will eventually fill each floor with richness and color, conveying The Night Ministry’s core values of refuge, safety, and healing.