Case Study

Nexus Recovery Center

Dallas, Texas

The Challenge

Nexus Recovery Center, a non-profit established in 1971, has been at the forefront of providing comprehensive treatment and support to women battling substance abuse. Initially focused on rehabilitation, Nexus has evolved to offer a wide range of services including therapy, life skills training, childcare, and wellness treatments. The primary challenge in creating the Doswell Building was to develop a space that could simultaneously address the diverse needs of its occupants and integrate a variety of programs within a single facility. This task required reconciling the need for both public engagement spaces and private, contemplative areas within an optimized environment.  

The Design Solution

The Doswell Building’s innovative design solution encompasses a dual-configuration approach, dividing the structure into two distinct yet interconnected segments through a central courtyard. The courtyard serves as both a divider and a unifier, where one side caters to the community with amenities like a large circle drive, community rooms, and a vibrant social hub, while the other side provides a tranquil space for admissions and dorms.  

The master plan for the campus integrates natural elements, redefines the campus’s focal point, and establishes a new primary entrance. The use of modest materials—concrete, timber, and stainless steel—along with strategic glazing, creates a space that feels secure yet open, dignified yet unassuming. The building’s exterior incorporates natural elements and sustainable practices, from the courtyard’s sanctuary-like atmosphere to the façade’s tree-inspired patterns, emphasizing the connection between the built environment and the healing process. 

The project emphasizes a strong connection to nature, featuring landscapes designed to withstand the harsh North Texas summers with gravel beds, rocks, and drought-resistant vegetation, minimizing irrigation needs. A significant budget allocation supports stormwater management, introducing a large detention pond and bioswales to control runoff, enhancing campus safety and protecting nearby residential areas. 

Phase II of the project involves creating new facilities for the Pregnant and Parenting Women and Children program and a Child Development Center. The dorms will expand to 30 rooms with private accommodations for moms and babies, along with community kitchens and increased staff to provide better care. The Child Development Center will be relocated to a larger facility with increased capacity and additional trained teachers and therapists.

The Design Impact

The Doswell Building is designed to become a new cornerstone for a diverse range of occupants, offering a dual configuration that cleverly balances public interaction and private reflection. By offering a space that embodies dignity, security, and community, the building plays a crucial role in supporting women and families, providing them with a safe and welcoming environment. Through its thoughtful multifaceted approach, the Doswell Building represents a design that is both inviting to the public and supportive of the residents’ journey to recovery.

Project Features

  • Detox dormitory with resident lounge
  • Private resident courtyard
  • Outpatient area with group rooms and private counseling rooms
  • Commemorative donor wall