In an effort to improve services for homeless families in Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser officially closed down the city’s largest hospital-turned-shelter, DC General, in 2018. Simultaneously, an initiative to decentralize short-term housing to each of the city’s administrative wards was announced. Studio 27 Architecture and LEO A DALY responded to this call with the Aya, a social housing design that aimed to alleviate the issues residents previously faced, respect Pierre L’Enfant’s arterial streets, and most importantly incorporate early community engagement. Set on an isolated triangular lot, the seven-story building hosts 53,000 square feet of short-term housing for up to 50 families in need of emergency shelter.
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