By Christina B. Farnsworth. What was once a 9,400-square-foot restaurant has become an 11,645-square-foot child development center. On the exterior, a chimney morphed into a quasi-traditional school bell tower, a lovely ring on adaptive re-use. The project team was creative in its use of low-cost materials, using corrugated culverts, for example, as columns.

Inside the facility, a wall of large-scale blocks works as a mural that sends a refreshing message--children play here and have fun. The message is particularly important since the family-oriented center targets high-risk children and their families.

Photo: Graphic Photo

The project was completed for only $64 a square foot because of contributions and many volunteers. And after it was complete, the owners donated the center to the community.

Category: Adaptive Re-Use; Entrant/Architect: Curry Brandaw Architects, Salem, Ore.; Builder/Land Planner: Curry Brandaw Construction, Salem