Edgerley Family Horizons Center

Location: Roxbury, MA
Size: 55,000 SF

Designed by studioMLA Architects, the Edgerley Family Horizons Center enables Horizons for Homeless Children to expand its capacity to provide high-quality early education and comprehensive support services for families experiencing homelessness and gives the organization a landmark physical presence in the Roxbury neighborhood.

In 2014, studioMLA began working with Horizons for Homeless Children to develop the vision for a new headquarters and select a site. Eighteen months of study and visioning, including visiting existing Horizons early education centers and meeting with and listening to teachers’ input, eventually resulted in the concept for the Edgerley Family Horizons Center.

The seven-story non-profit and community hub (pictured above) is a joint venture between Horizons for Homeless Children and Watermark Development and a design collaboration between studioMLA Architects and Embarc Studio (architect of record for the core and shell). The joint design team took the project through the Boston Planning and Development Agency approvals process and construction with Commodore Builders. With the construction of the building shell underway, studioMLA began the design of the two-level children’s center, outdoor play spaces, offices, and training center, now known as the Edgerley Family Horizons Center.

The 55,000 SF headquarters and early education center combines three existing Horizons centers into one, serving 225 children, ages two months to five years. It features a large STEM activity space, a children’s library and literacy center, and extensive outdoor rooftop play and learning spaces. It also includes light-filled shared and private office space, intake rooms, meeting rooms, and flexible community space. Indoor and outdoor spaces incorporate trauma-informed design strategies to better support the children and families Horizons serves.

Photography courtesy of Rosemary Fletcher.