In February, 2019, SOM, in partnership with Bright Horizons and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, unveiled a Bright Space for children at the Regent Family Residence, an Upper West Side shelter that serves 130 homeless families, and a program of Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY).
The SOM-designed Bright Space consists of two rooms, one for teens and one for children, located in the former student lounge and the child care spaces.
Following a ribbon cutting, the two rooms were revealed to the children and teens who will benefit from the makeover, much to the delight of everyone in attendance including the volunteers from SOM, and volunteers and staff from Bright Horizons, the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, and Volunteers of America.
SOM funded the project, and staff from the SOM Women’s Initiative and New York office donated their time and design expertise. Together with Bright Horizons and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, the project team transformed the two rooms into warm and engaging spaces for children in crisis. The child care room features new paint with nature-inspired graphics, flooring, furnishings, toys, and educational materials. The teen room is complete with new couches, a TV, a built-in desk, and shelves for books, art supplies, games, and décor. The rooms were purposefully designed to be welcoming and child- and teen-friendly. For school-age children, their room serves as an after school space to do and receive help with homework, and to simply relax in a quiet environment; for the youngest children, the bright colors and imagery, and distinct reading and play areas, invite them to play and explore.