Amity International is a rehabilitation program for previously incarcerated men and women. The organization has campuses around the globe with a mission to reintegrate their students back into society. Their Los Angeles campus is currently closed off and objectifies itself from the community. The concept for the design of the Los Angeles expansion is driven by their mission to reintroduce these men and women back into the world by providing them with hands on experiences in an environment that is social yet protected from its surroundings. The project goal is to create a campus that reflects and puts this mission into action. Although the center is closed off from the community, the purpose is for security. The solution is a design that has this level of security while also engaging with the community through fluidity of the architecture.
This idea of fluidity and connectivity is addressed on multiple scales. At the building scale, the program is organized with community engaging program on the ground floor perimeter and more private program, located on the podium level. The proposed upper floor serves as a secondary raised ground plane to introduce an openness on the campus that did not exist before. The gates on the site are rethought to be more inviting with the introduction of programmed barriers. These spaces serve as a buffer zone between the center and its surroundings while also providing a programmed use, welcoming in external interaction both visually and physically. This design promotes the interaction between their members and the community, in turn, blurring the boundaries of Amity International.