ZGA was approached by the Idaho Youth Ranch to program, design and provide construction administration services for an emergency shelter facility housing up to 20 children, ages 9-17. The original shelter was over capacity and in need of significant repair and upgrade so the Youth Ranch made the decision to construct a new shelter home to provide for the needs of at-risk youth for years to come.

Hays Shelter Home consists of separate residential wings (boys and girls) with ten beds each, bathrooms and storage. The main lodge room has study areas, a recreation center, and lounge with a double-sided fireplace leading to the main entry.

Located in Boise Idaho, on a 1.75 acre site within an older established residential neighborhood; the new 7,500 sq. ft. shelter and 600 sq. ft. storage building were designed to fit within the neighborhood without appearing institutional. The building was designed with the client’s expectations in mind. ZGA was able to create an environment that was warm, welcoming, fun, and safe; while still maintaining the durability needed to withstand the rigidities of youth.

The result was a warm mountain retreat/ski lodge-esque safe haven. The chosen palette responds to the actual feel of the home as well as client requests; with tones, textures, and materials that are soft but sturdy at the same time. The vaulted ceilings in the dining room provide an abundance of natural light in a gracious setting that seats all youth and staff at one grand table. Support spaces include a commercial kitchen, administrative offices, conference room, and an outdoor patio and recreation space, with adjoining fire ring.