Native Youth Resource Centre
The design of the Native Child and Family Services Youth Resource Centre is a reflection of the Centre’s mandate—accessible, holistic, and integrated with its community. Involving the conversion of an existing dilapidated office/residential building into a welcoming hub for at-risk First Nations youth, the design creates a dynamic and functional space for a variety of uses, including spaces for gathering and private conversation.
Located in the heart of Toronto’s Koreatown neighbourhood, the building program addresses the Centre’s focus on addictions, youth justice, culture, arts, recreation, employment, life skills, nutrition and drop-in programs. As such, the ground floor features reception and resource areas, a communal kitchen and lower-level lounge. On the upper level, additional multipurpose space, staff offices and counselling rooms are rounded out by classrooms in which subjects such as music, multimedia and parenting are taught. The provision of a roof terrace enables programmed space to extend to the outdoors, an invitation to access fresh air and a bit of sun. Bold red is used as the predominant accent colour throughout the space, representing an economical way of creating an appealing, hopeful and energizing environment.
Enhancement of the building envelope and foundation were also part of the renovation. Clad in richly hued Corten steel panels above a brick base, the building presents as a warm and hospitable place, concerned with strengthening the community it serves.