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NAI Award 2010Interpretive Planning & Implementation
Neighborhood House West Seattle

Client: High Point Center, Seattle, WA

Site: In November 2009, Neighborhood House, a 100 year old+ social service non-profit opened High Point Center in the High Point neighborhood of West Seattle, WA to serve as a center for learning, friendship and opportunity for 6,500 children, youth and adults each year. High Point Center houses the offices that provide education, employment and support services to Neighborhood House’s diverse client base, offices for the agency’s partners, Head Start classrooms, a Teen Center and a community gathering spaces.

Issue: With the redevelopment of High Point as a sustainably designed neighborhood by the Seattle Housing Authority, it was important to be consistent with the sustainable thread and ensure that the new High Point Center was designed and developed in a complementary manner. The Center, constructed with the environment in mind, will be LEED™ Gold-Certified, have the largest array of solar panels in the state of Washington, a ground source heat pump, energy efficient lighting and water systems, building materials made from recycled content, water efficient landscaping and many other features which makes it a sustainability model for the development of social service buildings.

Based in a socially and economically diverse neighborhood and serving a multi-lingual and multi-cultural clientèle, the Center will have the unique opportunity to draw upon this community to share different perspectives and knowledge about the environment.

Solution:An interpretive plan was developed to coordinate themes, goals and objectives while identifying audiences for telling the story of the building and how it connects to clients and residents lives. The plan also helped to link and unify the recommended interpretive elements such as innovative signage, self-guided tours and a docent program.

Neighborhood House is unique in its emphasis on addressing poverty and environmental stewardship.

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