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Unity House: The Front Door
Troy, New York
Unity House

architecture+ provided design services for this new 36,000 square-foot, four-story facility. Unity House is a human service agency that provides services to those who are living in poverty, adults living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence, and children with developmental delays.

The building is called “The Front Door” to signify their commitment to welcome all. It offers emergency crisis assistance, mental health services, housing services, employment training, and case management services. They also offer meeting space for community use.

The centralized reception desk in the main lobby is accessible from the street as well as a back entrance from the parking lot. A thrift store and food pantry are also located on the first floor.

Each upper floor features an elevator lobby and reception area to welcome visitors. The second floor provides space for current clients to come and go throughout the day to socialize, have a meal, or spend quiet time in a safe environment.

There are a wide variety of spaces offered, including a Community Room and a full service Cafeteria with a production kitchen. Smaller rooms such as a library, fitness room, shower, and laundry room are available to those who do not otherwise have access to these amenities.

The third and fourth floors contain large open office areas, smaller private offices, and open workstation areas. A corridor travels the length of the building, providing access to storage rooms, toilet rooms, the coffee nook, and smaller meeting rooms.

architecture+ also selected the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for this project. Throughout most of the interior of the building, furniture serves to help define spaces. Workstation pods, glass-front wall systems, and low profile partitions create collaborative workspaces, break down barriers between staff and clients, and permit flexibility for the future.

"architecture+ listened to Unity House staff and designed a building that enhances our mission. The look and feel of the Unity House’s Front Door enhances our work of serving people in need. The architecture+ team was inspiring –and fun—to work with."

Chris Burke, Chief Executive Officer, Unity House

The human side of architecture