Oregon has the second highest rate of homelessness in the country. To help address this, Rose Haven — Portland’s only community day shelter for women and children — was in need of a larger facility to better serve the unhoused in the community. Gensler donated its services to design Rose Haven’s new 10,500-square-foot space, a facility three times the size of its previous footprint, that comprises its day shelter and community center.
The biggest design driver for Rose Haven’s new space is the people the shelter helps. Gensler facilitated visioning sessions for Rose Haven’s team and the women and children it serves and approached the project through the lens of trauma-informed design to provide a sense of visual access and security for guests.
Rose Haven’s new space includes a welcoming intake and reception area, guest services area, activity rooms, prep-kitchen and pantry, community dining room, wellness area with showers, laundry and medic room, a boutique-inspired space where guests can select donated clothing items, and offices and workspaces for Rose Haven’s team of directors, advocates, and volunteers. Natural, exposed wood beams contrast with light walls and furniture to create a warm, open atmosphere where Rose Haven’s guests can socialize and feel a sense of community or find a quiet place of respite. Splashes of pastel hues throughout make this comfortable and calming environment even more inviting.
Rose Haven also engaged Gensler to refresh its brand identity, including a new logo design, trauma-informed color palette, and typography. Guided by the principles of trauma-informed design and color theory, Gensler created an 82-foot floral mural that wraps around key service areas and was handpainted together by the Gensler team and Rose Haven’s guests, volunteers, and donors.