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The mission of First Grace Community Alliance (FGCA) is to work with and for people in need, especially women and their children, by meeting food, housing and other emergency needs, while simultaneously challenging systemic poverty in the greater New Orleans area. Hagar’s House is a program of FGCA that provides temporary housing for women and children.

The Tulane City Center worked with First Grace Community Alliance to design and build an Outdoor Enrichment Room for the children living at Hagar’s House. Known as Project Ish, the space provides a playroom and educational area for children transitioning from homelessness to a stable living situation. The project involved converting the existing back deck of the shelter into an enclosed, safe, multifunctional space, which is an extension of the house and is situated between the home and the community garden.

Fifteen students worked collaboratively on the design of the project with continual input from the residents and staff of Hagar’s House. The compact (400 s.f.) and expressive scheme includes a linear storage wall, a loft playspace, and a butterfly roof which collects rainwater to be used in the adjacent community garden. The project was designed and built in the fall of 2010 over the course of a 13-week studio.

Fall 2010





Project Team

Cristina Alvarado
Laura Casaccio
Veronica Cordova
Daniel Demeules
Laura DiIorio
Joshua Frederick
Cassandra Gibbs
Ross Kelley
Oren Mitzner
Samantha Nourse
Justin Park
J. Cameron Ringness
Justin Siragusa
Eric Sullivan
Michael Visintainer

Project Lead

Emilie Taylor


First Grace Community Alliance
Hagars House