The new Center for Transforming Lives will be “an instrument to help”

Bennett Partners shares the award-winning, adaptive reuse design.

Renderings of the new Center for Transforming Lives

The design for the new CTL campus prioritizes light and nature.

Renderings courtesy of Bennett Partners

Table of Contents

This fall, local architecture firm Bennett Partners received a 2022 Studio Award from the Texas Society of Architects for the design of the new campus for the Center for Transforming Lives (CTL). We’re diving into the design, organizations, and what the center will mean for Fort Worth families.

A group that helps

The Center for Transforming Lives nonprofit works with women and children to disrupt the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Tarrant County. The nonprofit provides housing, early childhood education, economic mobility, and trauma-informed counseling services that work across generations to allow parents and children to find security and well-being as a family.

The CTL has outgrown its current facility at the YWCA — a Texas Historic Landmark at 512 W. 4th St. — and is in the process of adapting the old Montgomery Ward department store at the corner of East Berry and South Riverside Streets in Morningside.

A home for all

The new CTL facility will repurpose the all-concrete building into a multi-use facility with natural light. The design — that will include classrooms, offices, and community spaces — is centered around an open air courtyard. Bennett Partners designed colorful freestanding “houses” within the building for the Early Learning Center.

The new facility will have direct access to the Trinity Metro bus line and be surrounded by park-like outdoor spaces that include a focal heritage tree that represents the survival of the center’s participants.

A firm that cares

Bennett Partners works across multiple sectors throughout Fort Worth, specializing in adaptive reuse projects that preserve and continue Cowtown’s culture — like the Stockyards horse and mule barns and Hotel Dryce.

In addition to high-profile projects, the firm takes on a substantial amount of work for nonprofits, bringing quality design to the community regardless of income.

“We try to approach these projects so the guests get the same dignified and respectful architecture as a person who might make a lot of money,” principal Michael Bennett told us.

“In some ways, those projects have the biggest impact. They’re not always the most visible, but they are used as an instrument to help people,” he said.

The firm’s other ongoing projects include:

Check out the firm’s other current and completed projects across the region.

More from FTWtoday