embrace. equip. send.

Alas - a project summary! On Wednesday, we bundled the drawing set & report in a package and sent them off to the client who will take the reigns on moving this project forward. Our trip to the post office was followed by a nice English breakfast at a nearby cafe that we fondly referred to as our 'EMI conference room'. Needless to say, there was many high-fives and cheers passed around! It has been a joy to see the Lord's hand in this project from day one. We look forward to seeing how this project continues into construction and soon enough, a functioning ministry. Here are pieces and parts taken from our project report that hopefully give you an idea of what we've been working on since September. Bare in mind... I'm focusing heavily on the architecture side of things, but know there was a brilliant team of engineers who made this site buildable and functional for all -- what would we do without them?! :)

Client | From the early 2000s until recently, Michael and Carolyn Enis have been serving with the Rafiki Foundation in Uganda: an international ministry supporting orphans and widows in numerous African countries through the provision of a home, medical care, education and God’s Word. Michael and Carolyn identified a need in Wakiso District, Uganda for a continued support network for formerly orphaned or vulnerable children who have reached adulthood and have left the care of the Rafiki Foundation. The Michael and Carolyn Guardian Trust was established in 2012 with the goal of providing this continued support and nurturing in the form of a transition home: a loving and stable environment for young adults to call home even while they pursue further education or employment, with the aim of becoming independent and forming family homes of their own. The Trust has already purchased a property in Wakiso District, where their vision is to build this transition home and welcome the first members within the next two years.

Concept | The overarching philosophy is that the transition home should “move young adults from dependency on us [Michael and Carolyn] to dependency on God, because that is what will sustain them for the rest of their lives” (Carolyn Enis, Sep. 2015).The Design Team summarised the Trust’s vision with the words: embrace, equip and send. This captures the desire to embrace the young adults in a family environment, equip them both practically and spiritually for adult life, and send them on to a life of independence. Carolyn also said, "if it loses the family feel, then we are defeated."


After hearing the program requirements and heart behind the ministry, the design team set off to create a masterplan that encompassed all of these things while also serving the needs of a full-time functioning ministry. Program requirements included a Main House that housed 20 young men and women as well as Michael and Carolyn's family, individual residences for long-term residents, guest accomodation, staff housing and outdoor spaces capable of holding 100-150 people for community gatherings.


Design Approach | A courtyard is a large, open space intended for gathering and community that connects various spaces together in the heart of the design. Just as the Enis’ hope to embrace these young adults,the site draws its users in to centrally located, communal spaces that serve as points of connection, uniting the buildings across the site. By placing shared spaces in the heart, there is a strengthened sense of a family atmosphere that is illustrated in all scales of this design.


Interiors | The Main House was largely the focus of this project seeing as it housed the majority of residents and holds the Great Room. The layout of the house was driven by the Great Room which serves as the heart of the entire site. This room functions as a place of gathering and connectivity which supports a multitude of activity including space for cooking, dining, studying and socialising.




Entry into the Main House.

Looking down the corridor in the Great Room.

An exterior rendering of the Main House on Parcel B done by the lovely Hazel Ventura!

Site Plan of Parcel A and Parcel B.

And that's a wrap!


Emma R. Wilson | 913.832.6802 | emmarebwilson@gmail.com | © 2017 by EW

Dinner at a seaside pub in Colchester. Pictures from left to right: Marietta, Suzanne, Hazel, Jessica, Christa and Mike.