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Cheltenham Youth Detention Center

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Our firm was commissioned by Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) to design a new youth detention center in Cheltenham, MD.

The 92,122-square-foot facility will provide housing, somatic and behavioral health, educational, recreational, and support space for the 72 male youth held by court order. The center is designed to replace the aging and inefficient existing campus of buildings and will operate under the direct supervision model.

The design and layout of the site addresses several key goals of the project: the facility should present a non-institutional face to the community and the public; and security throughout the facility must be heightened.

Movement and routine are essential to improving behavior within the facility. Good sightlines and wide angles are required both to ensure security, and foster feelings of safety among both the youth and the staff. The Solar Orientation (rotated 15 degrees north west) is intended to provide a broad face to the south to maximize solar exposure, which in the summer reduces heat gain and impact on cooling systems in the morning and evening; and in the winter, takes advantage of the low sun throughout the day to enhance the heating system. The rotation also allows for maximizing prime southern exposure for day lighting in the classroom setting, therefore highlighting the importance of the education component to the mission of the facility.

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