Children & Family Urban Movement (CFUM) has made its home in the basement of the Trinity United Methodist Church since 1992. While they have kept an unwavering focus on supporting the wellbeing of children in their neighborhood, they had a low profile in Des Moines. After the decision was made to construct their own space, they emphasized a commitment to increasing public awareness of their organization, while creating a design that reflects their non-profit ideals and commitment to service. Their building design compliments the neighborhood by utilizing a thoughtful combination of masonry and metal, employing understated form language, and featuring clean details.
A new building site was selected within their existing neighborhood in the 9th Street Streetcar Historic District. The guidelines for the historic district are clear that new construction compliments and respects, but does not emulate, the historic architecture of the area. The new building is sited at the corner with traditional masonry attached to a contemporary metal form. One of the key elements of the design is the front porch. Paying homage to the historical front porches in the neighborhood, the new design features a front porch as a meaningful space to welcome families. Throughout the day and night, the building will be inviting and transparent, which is emblematic of their work with neighborhood youth.
The mission of CFUM is to “create a community that supports the potential of children, youth, and families through educational success, healthy living, and community engagement.” One hallmark of their work is sharing meals, which is reflected in the design by featuring a large gathering hall at the front of the building. This space will be used for dining, socializing, and community activities. Additional classrooms and break out spaces, including a STEAM room, are designed specifically for young people.