Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Soil to Soul

A non-profit organization that focuses on building homes for people, regardless of race, religion, gender, or ethical background. A “Habitat” is a place that is natural for life and growth while “Humanity” means to have kind qualities. As it is, the mission statement is Seeking to put God’s love (humanity) into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope (habitat). The design for a ReStore space should be reflective of Habitat as if it were put into walls and floors. The space should bring people together from all parts of the plan, making the user feel comfortable transitioning from the different types of spaces.


The proposed client for this project was Habitat for Humanity, as their Savannah location was in need of a redesigned ReStore space that included retail, office, and service areas. The project was over 20,000 square feet, located in Savannah, GA, and includes custom components and varied sensory experiences

Giving spiritual meaning to "home" & the capability to connect

A soil to soul design will encourage the sensory experience, motivating the user to apply their senses of touch, smell, sight, and feel throughout the space. A connection between the user’s senses and the space will be developed from their first steps in to their last steps out. The Soil to Soul design inspiration was drawn from the line work of a traditional mandala. Here in the Restore, visitors will transition from the physical soil of the retail space, or as an employee into the spiritual soul of their work environment.

Logistics office in the service division

Simple, decent, and affordable design virtues

Habitat for Humanity’s brand identity is considerably based on values that are simple, decent, and affordable. Phrases such as a “Repurposing Purpose,” “Sheltered Together,” “Rubble to Reason,” and “Framing Families” were to reflect the ideals and integrity of the business. 

large conference room in the work division

large conference room in the work division

Design inspiration

Two different mandala drawings were laid out on the boundaries of the building shell to establish the boundaries of the program, and decide what areas would intersect and have an immediate relation.

The breakdown of the program was used to discover the need and spatial requirements for certain spaces within the project. 


Progress and additional design results of the project (scroll through): 

The below gallery of images consists of project progress shown through programming, diagramming, concept development, and preliminary sketches. Also included are the final rendered spaces of the educational center, the lobby, and the "Living Room" showroom.