Congratulations to the AIA Film Challenge 2019 winners!
Title: Rising to the Challenge: The 15 Year Evolution of One Building From the HIV/AIDS Epidemic to the Homeless Crisis
Description: Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street proclaimed May 18, 2004 to be Calcutta House Day. On that day, Calcutta House opened its newest facility, Serenity Court, to meet the special housing and medical needs of those very ill and dying due to AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its height; but medical research was making strides with new drug regimens. Many AIDS patients responded positively, however, some people afflicted with the deadly disease did not get better. Calcutta House, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and A K Architecture, developed Serenity Court to provide specialized supportive housing for their AIDS residents who were not responding to the new drug treatments — a place to care for the body and spirit of persons with fragile health. Fast forward 15 years to 2019, and Serenity Court has outlived AIDS as a deadly disease. The building has transitioned from an AIDS hospice to a medical respite for the homeless. This is a story of architects and civic leaders working together to create a resilient and sustainable community where thoughtful design creates a healing environment for those most in need of care.The mission of Serenity Court has adjusted to address Philadelphia's Homeless Crisis, providing a place to stay for homeless individuals who need time to recover after hospitalization – with the goal of helping these individuals to move onto transitional housing.