The Monarch Village is a unique project donated by Studio 804, providing a solution to multiple problems our community in Lawrence is facing. First, it acts as a safe space to isolate during the covid-19 pandemic, allowing those who contract the virus to remain protected without compromising the health of the others in the shelter. Second, it can be used as a temporary housing space for families, specifically single mothers with children. This encourages a healthy, private space, helping to create habits that will eventually lead them out of the shelter and into permanent housing. Furthermore, having this space allows the families to build their values and traditions, an opportunity they would not have while living communally.
This project uses twelve recycled shipping containers, each of which 160 sf, to create the “village” itself. These homes, located at 3655 E 25th Street at the Lawrence Community Shelter, are paired and anchored on the east and south sides surrounding the existing community garden and monarch butterfly trails. Inside, each container includes a bunk bed and a pull-out sleeper couch, as well as a full bathroom and small kitchenette; the ADA accessible unit features ramping, and a reconfigured space to accommodate.
A new 900 sf open-sided commons shelter will be constructed to the north of the garden as well as a covered concrete pad between each of the units, creating gathering spaces for those at the shelter and to encourage interactions among them. Leading to the commons shelter, new sidewalks are being built and will give a sense of circulation to unite the homes as a neighborhood.
The Monarch Village community seeks to maintain a high level of sustainable design. While unable to reach LEED certification as a result of size constraints, the project is still designed to account for a number of platinum-level standards. Re-purposed materials are used throughout the units where possible, and passive strategies are implemented to help supply ventilation and natural heating. A wire screening system allows for native plants and vines to grow up it while providing shade for the container and acting as a unique, exterior-feature wall. Additionally, a southwest facing louver system allows for natural light to fill the shipping container in an efficient and sustainable manner, offering heat in the winter and shade in the summer. Each shipping container also incorporates three solar panels on the roof to provide a major portion of the energy needs.