Bennett Partners honored for design of Fort Worth outreach center

Center for Transforming Lives (Rendering courtesy Bennett Partners)

Innovative Fort Worth architect Bennett Partners has added a 2022 Studio Award from the Texas Society of Architects to its overflowing trophy case for its work in reimagining the headquarters of the Center for Transforming Lives (CTL).

The award comes on the heels of the city of Fort Worth’s selection of Bennett Partners and Atlanta’s TVS to deliver design and construction administration services for the first phase of the long-awaited expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The CTL project began as a pro-bono study by Bennett Partners to assist the organizaton in assessing the feasibility of adaptively reusing a 1960s-era department store for new facilities, the firm said in a news release. The company was later selected to go ahead with the work.

CTL is a Fort Worth outreach organization assisting underserved communities by providing a wide range of services for at-risk women and children, including crisis support, child care, Head Start services, financial education, housing services, family counseling and job training.

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“We are certainly gratified for this recognition, but we are even more pleased to be able to help CTL in the important work they are doing for those in our community who are in need,” said Michael Bennett, principal and CEO of Bennett Partners.

Originally a two-level Montgomery Ward store, the all-concrete CTL structure at the corner of East Rosedale and South Riverside will undergo significant upgrades under Bennett Partners’ redesign plan. The work will include the addition of a landscaped entry courtyard that will introduce natural light into the building, a landscaped parking lot incorporating a park-like connection from the nearby bus stop to the building entry, and the creation of outdoor shaded play areas. Freestanding “houses” within the volume of the building will provide classroom space for children enrolled in Head Start. Much of the 13-acre site will be converted into green space for neighborhood activities and events.

The project is in the schematic design phase and construction is expected to begin next summer.

The Texas Society of Architects award is the latest in a string of recent honors bestowed on Bennett Partners for its creative approach to designing and improving working and living spaces.

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The CTL project also garnered Bennett Partners a 2021 Studio Award from the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the firm has received numerous other accolades for its design work, including a 2021 Texas Society of Architects Design Award and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s John Staub Award for the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic Horse and Mule Barns; the AIA Fort Worth Chapter’s Merit Award for the optimization of Jetta Operating Company’s offices; the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ CLIDE Award for Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza in Burleson’s Old Town; the AIA Fort Worth Chapter’s Merit Award for the new Overton Park Elementary School in southwest Fort Worth; and AIA Fort Worth’s Merit Award for the Tarrant County College District’s new administrative offices.

To learn more about Bennett Partners’ work, visit the firm’s website.