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Freedom House

Green Bay, WI

Scope of Work

Freedom House, a non-profit organization housed on the East side of Green Bay, provides transitional housing and programming to help families get back on their feet and living on their own in the community. To help navigate the difficulties involved in replacing an entire facility, the Owner, Architects and Engineers, Construction Manager, and rest of the project team developed a path for the project that met program needs and kept within a conservative budget and sensitive schedule.

The family dormitories needed to be physically separated from the community spaces to allow for the possibility of the shelter operating with less staff overnight. The existing corner lot posed challenges for an acute angle at street frontages, which featured a substantial hill from one end of the site to the other. The solution was a plan that divided the facilities into two buildings connected by a second floor skywalk.

The dormitory design drew upon the simplest geometry to suggest a home: a gabled structure, representing a safe place to bring a family in a difficult time. Western red cedar siding is a prominent feature of the building’s character, providing a warm welcome and proving that with simple materials and shapes, responsible design was still possible with a conservative budget. The repetitive shape of the steep gables and rhythmic openings can hold up to 16 families in private rooms equipped with dedicated bathrooms. The structure includes shared kitchenettes, residential laundry units, and is convertible to an emergency shelter in the case of a larger catastrophic event.

Built into the hillside, the administrative wing of the building includes a double-loaded corridor with naturally lit spaces. Large window openings and ample borrowed lights admit light throughout the floor plan. The program includes a large commercial kitchen and cafeteria, counseling rooms, salon, clinical services, a training/classroom, and commercial laundry. The building also houses Freedom House’s staff and robust program for transitioning families back into the community.

This thoughtful project has allowed Freedom House to maintain their mission of equipping families with the skills and resources needed to become self-sufficient and to maintain independence.

Photography by Mike Roemer Photography and Tricia Shay Photography.

Check out the time lapse video of the project here!

Unique Features

  • Western red cedar siding
  • Ample natural lighting
  • Overhead skywalk
  • Commercial kitchen, cafeteria, & laundry
  • 16 private rooms equipped with bathrooms, and residential laundry
  • Counseling rooms, salon, clinical services, & training/classroom



  • Daily Reporter Top Projects Award
  • AIA Wisconsin Merit Design Award
  • City of Green Bay Mayor's Beautification Award
  • WoodWorks U.S. Wood Design Awards, Jury's Choice


Project Details

    Freedom House Ministries
    Green Bay, WI

    Berners-Schober Associates, Inc.
    Green Bay, WI

  • AREA
    16,000 total sq. ft.


    7 month construction period.