Higher Ground Saint Paul, designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects (now part of LHB, Inc.), won AIA Minnesota’s 2020 Affordable Housing Design Award. The award is supported by the McKnight Foundation to recognize and encourage innovative, high-quality design for affordable housing. Cermak Rhoades Architects became part of LHB in 2019, augmenting the firm’s existing Housing Design Studio.
The Higher Ground Saint Paul project is the result of the bold and ambitious vision of Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to transform what was once a system of perpetual crisis management at their former shelter, to a proven model that integrates dignified emergency services with resources that lead to stability and opportunity. At this facility, overnight emergency shelter is linked to one-on-one support, permanent housing, health care, and job training.
Higher Ground Saint Paul combines a homeless shelter, support services, and permanent housing in a single building. Formerly homeless residents literally move up the building as their lives become more stable, starting with the overnight shelter on the first floor, moving up to more private “pay for stay” beds on the second floor, and finally settling in single rooms on the third through fifth floors.
“This award celebrates Catholic Charities’ important work,” noted Housing Specialist Terri Cermak, “We’re honored to use our talents to create spaces that foster hope and opportunity in our communities.” The AIA Minnesota Affordable Housing Design Award has been presented a total of seven times since its inception. Five of the seven projects recognized have been designed by members of LHB’s Housing studio:
- Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Higher Ground St. Paul (2020) – designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects
- RS EDEN, Emanuel Housing, Minneapolis (2018) – designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects
- Clare Housing, Inc., Clare Midtown, Minneapolis (2014) – designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects
- Aeon Renaissance Box, St. Paul (2013) – designed by LHB, Inc.
- Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Higher Ground, Minneapolis (2012) – designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects