Dream Rooms, Phoenix
Occupying a former hotel, the Rescue Project's Phoenix Dream Center—offering safe refuge and specialized assistance to victims of human trafficking—was in desperate need of repair.
As the project team planned structural improvements, it began to consider creative ways to transform 10 former hotel rooms into places where girls—robbed of their childhoods—could heal and dream of what their new futures might bring.
As a result, 10 leading Arizona design firms volunteered their services and were given design freedom to create the rooms. "Aside from safety guidelines, there were no aesthetic limitations holding the designers back from creating their most emotional work to date," says Jerry Meek, president of Desert Star Construction, the project coordinator.
At first there were concerns about how well the design firms would work together, considering that they regularly compete with each other for high-end luxury home projects. Any fears were unfounded, Meek says, as cooperation came to the forefront and the designers banded together to create the best project possible. Of course, there was still room for some friendly competition as each company tried to outperform the other, he adds.
During construction, jobsite access was a major concern since the building had no elevators. Individual trades coordinated access needs and materials deliveries to avoid gridlock in the stairwells and on the exterior pulley system.
After plumbers realized the fourth floor needed to be re-piped, they were surprised to find that the building had only one water shutoff. The plumbing contractor had to repeatedly drain and refill the lines while working so that the shelter's food preparation could continue uninterrupted.
During the four-month project, more than 1,000 volunteers and 300 design firms, trade contractors and suppliers worked on the project and covered 100% of the costs.
The rooms reflect hope, says Annie, a shelter resident, a place she "can grow and fix myself so that I can make my dreams come true."
Contractor: Desert Star Construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Owner: Desert Star Construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lead Design: Team DSC, Scottsdale, Ariz.
MEP: Sexton Services, Phoenix
Architect: Paul O’Connor Architects: Phoenix
Submitted by Desert Star Construction
Award of Merit, Interior: Fender Musical Instruments