TRANSFORMATION OF CHALLENGER MEMORIAL YOUTH CENTER
The city of Lancaster is located in southern California, functions as a transportation corridor which is just one hour’s drive from Los Angeles. However, it has vast lands of much lower prices compared to Los Angeles. In that, Lancaster offers abundant commercial and industrial property at very affordable prices and convenient transportation accesses for large scale businesses in Southern California.
A large number of industries, fuel stations, automobiles, fast food, and the musical road collaborated to a roadside culture to its zenith in Lancaster. Therefore, the theme of road culture is what we consider as the most promising to develop in the project of transformation of Challenger Memorial Youth Center.
The job training system is definitely one of the most required programs the Juvenile center to help them to try to associate with and even adapt to the world outside. Therefore, participants in this center are arranged to join in job training courses according to a classification system. Courses like housekeeping, first-aid, fast food preparation, house maintenance like plumber or electrician, and car maintenance, are provided for all juveniles. After passing a mental evaluation, participants are allowed to join more jobs like nursery and psychology courses. And they are also allowed to join in some exchange project with the factories nearby for potential possibilities of working there in the future.
Lancaster Business Park with a Campus-like atmosphere is a very road-orientated company that provides transport service for nationally known firms including Federal Express. Fox Field Industrial is also based near an airport and appropriate for Airport-oriented Firms and Freeway-oriented Corporate Headquarters. Other than that, there are approximately 5 industries near Challenger Memorial Youth Center. Workers are always wanted in the field. We propose two ways to help them go through the transition between school and work. One is taking participants out, another is bringing people in. Buses provide free transportation for those who have finished their professional training and mentally ready to work or stay in a much bigger community to the factory to study or work there. Workshop trunk is working like a satellite campus which brings mentally readied participants out into the factories as part of job and life transition to have a try-out into the big world. The trunk will host an exhibition of road culture and few workshops to bring locals to them.
To be sustainable, we propose to include industries that are related to road culture on-site as part of the incomes. Such as vehicle workshops, fast food shops, Gasoline stations. And Drive-in cinema and Gift shop to bring back memories of these days on the road.
The management of the juvenile center is a fusion of four modes, private mode, semi-private mode, semi-public mode and public mode. Only part of the dwelling spaces is in private mode, which ensures that some participants want to live alone. And some semi-private spaces like living rooms are also provided for some activities among roommates. And the education and working parts are allocated to be in groups in semi-public or public mode to encourage communications.
Our dwelling system is divided into four different categories, like individual rooms, and rooms dwell 2, 4 or 6 juveniles. The newcomers to the center are encouraged to join in a 6-people-room to associate more with others and have higher probabilities to find close friends here. And after they join in the center from some time, maybe 6 months, some of them who have passed the mental evaluation are allowed to make choices of changing their room type.