LGBT Community Center
The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
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The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland's new home complements their mission "to enrich the lives of the diverse LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, support, education, and celebration." The Center's vision includes being an integral part of the thriving Northeast Ohio region and their goal is to remain within the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District. The Center's commitment included a building that is sustainable and integrated into the community it serves and was designed to attain LEED Silver Level certification.
A key aspect of the design intent was to create a new facility that integrates and weaves into the existing context of the Gordon Square Arts District. The new 15,500 square foot facility continues the pedestrian and vehicular experience along Detroit Avenue, utilizing a balance of brick, glass storefronts and metal panels and offering an exterior terrace off of the second floor. It was important for the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland's new home to be welcoming and accessible. Their previous home was predominately located within a basement level with little natural light. It was critical to achieve a transparency from the street within their new facility to express and celebrate the meaningful programs that happen within. Another key design intent was to offer a variety of kinds of spaces and the building layout allows for flexibility including movable partitions to vary the size of the rooms depending on programming and events. The interior finishes include exposed steel structural elements, polished concrete floors, and vibrant pops of color throughout the space.
Completed in the Summer of 2019, LGBT’s new building blends into the neighborhood context; A nod towards the historic district’s use of materials, colors and scale/proportions, while incorporating a contemporary, yet timeless twist. The building façade's transparency connects the building’s interior to the street and vice versa. Daily natural light fills the lobby and highlights the unique open monumental staircase designed to be a full self-supporting cantilever. At night, the illumination allows the dynamic pops of interior colors and 10’ high “LGBTQ+” window graphics to activate the street.
As a non-profit organization, it was important for the project team to be collaborative and maintain a balance of appropriate design solutions which aligned with the fundraising efforts and budget goals. This was achieved through vision sessions with the community, committee meetings and working with the neighborhood architectural review, city landmarks and planning groups.
The new building provides approximately three times the programmable space of their former location and its increased visibility has succeeded in expanding their programs and improving outreach to the most vulnerable community members, while forming new community partners.
The Center's commitment to green building design utilizes some of the most efficient mechanical Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, electrical daylight harvesting and lighting control/dimmable systems, resulting in a building that will be sustainable for many years to come.
The new building is integrated into the community and achieves a greater presence within the Gordon Square Arts District, supporting the neighborhood development organization’s goals of maximizing the new location and design along the sidewalk’s edge while promoting walkability, bicycling and use of transportation within the district.
“It’s a beautiful building that speaks to our mission around support, advocacy, education and celebration of the LGBT community. This isn’t just a good thing for the LGBTQ community, it’s a good thing for Cleveland, for Northeast Ohio.”
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
- NAIOP 2020 Award of Excellence: 2019 Community Center Architecture Project of the Year
- NAIOP 2020 Award of Excellence: 2019 Community Center Interior Design of the Year
- Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization: Neighborhood Improvement Award, "for it's beautiful new building, supporting it's mission as an accessible asset to the community in Detroit Shoreway."
- Judge Raymond L. Pianka Community Award, "for their community partnership within the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood/community."
- LEED Registered
- Fundraising Assistance
- Space Planning
- Site Acquisition
- Budget Development
- Cost Estimating
- Feasibility Study
- Concept Development
- Interior Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Schedule Development