Good Samaritan Community Enrichment Center

Santa Maria, CA



Client: Good Samaritan Shelter, Inc.
Cost: $1,200,000
Size: 5,400 sq. ft.
Year Complete: 2007


Ravatt Albrecht & Associates


The project objective was to give back to the community from both an environmental and social perspective by demonstrating sustainable technology.


2007 AIA CCC Award of Honor for Excellence in Design and Execution.


Update and improve a single building that serves as a community kitchen and employment training facility, as well as a dining hall and overflow shelter for the homeless, all while giving back to the community from both an environmental and social perspective.


Ravatt Albrecht & Associates designed this 5,400 sq. ft. multi-use community building to serve as a community kitchen, employment training facility, dining hall, and overflow shelter for the homeless. The building is part of a services-oriented campus situated in an aging suburban residential neighborhood. Other buildings on-site provide individual and family housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, job training, and a children’s Head Start program.

Work included the renovation of an outdated, inefficient building to provide it a sense of space and community. Using simple means and a small budget, Ravatt Albrecht & Associates designed straightforward and functional space. The materials throughout—concrete flooring, prefabricated steel, and inexpensive glazing—were chosen for economy and durability. Vibrant shades of cool sea green add splashes of color to the expansive interior spaces.

The result is a sustainably designed and built space that includes a community kitchen redesigned as a simple, green plaster rectangle clad in “green screen,” a prefabricated trellis system, and a dining hall with a double inverted metal roof and walls finished with “polygal,” an inexpensive semi-transparent panel used in the construction of greenhouses. Landscape plant species are native and Mediterranean, requiring minimal irrigation. Edible plants are also being used throughout the project to provide fruits and herbs to the shelter residents.

The building’s 21-kilowatt photovoltaic system is an energy source that offsets the energy requirements of the kitchen. During daylight hours, the building is completely illuminated by natural light. Daylight and building comfort is attained by practical solar gain applied to large east and north facing translucent polycarbonate walls. The building is passively vented through barometric actuated louvers located in high west clerestory. The heating system is only used at night when the building functions as an overflow shelter.


Architectural and sustainable design.