Youth Villages
Chad Mellon

Residential Expansion for the Health and Education of Troubled Adolescents

brg3s as Architects

Youth Villages is an organization which originated in Memphis, TN with a mission to provide rehabilitative and educational services for children with behavioural health challenges. In the early 2000’s the firm, then under the title of TRO Jung Brannen, designed and constructed two other residential treatment centers and an educational facility. This is the third, 72-bed, residential building on the campus designed by the firm, now under the name of brg3s. It was named 'Bill's Place' for the CEO's late father who made his own way through the foster care system. 

This 105,000 SF, single story addition provides living and treatment space for adolescents who have been placed at Youth Villages because of social and behavioral concerns.  The facilities balance security and safety features while creating an environment which instills hope for these adolescents. Hallways and interior rooms are outfitted with large windows and skylights in order to allow for ample natural lighting, which studies show can assist with improving mental and overall health. Warm wooden accents and pops of color make the space feel welcoming and visually stimulating and less like a detention center. 

The facilities include bedrooms, common lounge areas, a cafeteria, a full-court gymnasium, classrooms, counseling and medical clinics.  Outdoor space for play is provided, including a swimming pool, which is enclosed with 10’, shepherd hook fencing.  Anti-ligature features are incorporated throughout. Details prevent removal of items for self-inflicted injury or injury to others.  Materials and furniture need to be resilient and difficult to weaponize. 

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