People's Emergency Center (PEC), began as a homeless shelter in West Philadelphia, committed to helping women and children in desperate need. As PEC evolved and expanded over the years, they came to realize that temporary housing, while invaluable, was only that – temporary. PEC made the commitment to provide safe, attractive, permanent housing that their clients could aspire towards and achieve.

Jannie's Place, which provides a total of 29 residential dwelling units that range in size from One to Three Bedrooms, grew from that desire. A large, vacant site was acquired along 40th Street, less than a block from the commercial corridor of Lancaster Avenue in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia. The site extends from Wallace Street to Mt. Vernon Street, and was a real eyesore in a residential neighborhood that includes modest rowhouses, larger twins, and once grand singles. The site presented PEC with a terrific opportunity to fill a void in a neighborhood that has had its share of adversity in the last few years.

The design places the building directly along the full length of 40th Street, regaining both corners and re-establishing the grid. A three story building, the design attempts to break down the scale of a long building into rowhouse-like proportions. The façade is organized around two main materials – red brick, the most common material in this typical Philadelphia neighborhood, and multi-colored metal panel siding, a more modern material that injects a liveliness and playfulness into the overall feel of the building.

At the rear of the building, a landscaped, fenced tot lot is created alongside a long built-in bench and paved terrace. This gives the residents, many of whom will have small children, a place to gather and play that is safe and appealing.