The Challenge

Ruth Ellis Center is a youth social services agency with a mission to provide short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The organization was looking for a partner to help renovate its existing space in Highland Park, Michigan into a friendly and welcoming environment for employees and youth. Together, it was our goal to modernize the space while still keeping and highlighting many of the building's original industrial features.


  • Open work environment
  • Privacy for meetings and confidential consultations
  • Training space
  • Blend of old and new
  • Inviting feel for youth
  • Smart small space solutions

Design Solutions

We mixed colorful and new with rough and old to create a space that's warm and welcoming.

  • Benching allows for an open environment, but still provides designated work areas for employees
  • Low panels allow for natural light throughout the entire space
  • Small and large conference rooms provide privacy for confidential conversations, and additionally provide spaces for training and collaboration
  • Vibrant furniture finishes create a fun and welcoming environment for youth while still being sophisticated
  • The original features of the existing building, like brick walls and hardwood floors, create an industrial yet warm vibe

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