United Way plays an invaluable role in the nonprofit sector of Chattanooga. As it looked to the future of nonprofits, United Way envisioned a streamlined, centralized location that would enable nonprofits to easily share information and support their initiatives. The Innovation Hub emerged as the bold solution — a new center that would provide United Way’s extensive resources with efficiency and directness and offer a space for nonprofits to collaborate and tackle the community’s most complex problems.
The Hub project consisted of a partial renovation of a historic building, with HK providing both architectural and interior design services. Throughout the process, HK focused on flexibility to ensure an interior that would serve a wide array of organizations as well as openness and light to instill a sense of connection and forward-thinking.
The space is divided into two zones. The first zone visitors enter is the lobby, where the United Way history offers context and wayfinding for community resources provides direction. The second zone is the Collaborative Space, built to encourage communication and incite discussion and creativity. Multiple configurations of gathering spaces were implemented to meet the needs of nonprofits and the community, including the “Flex Meeting Space” — a dedicated conference room that is open to the public. Conference rooms and meeting areas large and small are reserved for the nonprofits who inhabit the building. These rooms are all connected by a bright color palette, which activates the space, improves wayfinding, and reinforces positive energy.