2,000 sf addition of two levels of Cafes to ends of skilled nursing wings to create more dining capacity and alternative venue to large formal dining rooms. Project included new patio.
Connection to nature promotes wellness. Research shows that views, pictures, and connection with nature promotes faster healing, reduced stress, a better appetite, and more activity. The project theme was connection with nature highlighting with dining room to patio connection. A water feature is the focal point of the patio, directly opposite the large dining room windows. In our post-occupancy interviews we found that the patio fountain is also the most popular place for both residents to be taken and family members to take the resident elders when they visit. The fountain offers privacy for family members who may be yelling to compensate for the elder's loss of hearing. In our interviews, several residents said they were legally blind, but loved the light from the large windows and sense of spaciousness. Those in wheel chairs appreciated the large windows extending to the floor. Indoors an illuminated panel marks the entry to the DR on each floor with a sailboat image on one floor and mountain scene on the other. Two large canvases are hung on the DR back walls with more mountain and beach scenery.
Architect: SAGE Architectural Alliance; Landscape Architect: Harrison Design; Interior Designer: Sechrist Design. All three design teams regularly work together. Initial meetings included all three firms discussing the project concept. The teams generated sketches by hand and in Sketchup. Ideas and sketches were then circulated between teams so each could comment and support the designs of the others.
We held post-occupancy interviews with the skilled nursing residents in April, a month after project completion. The greatest reward was hearing the appreciation of the elders saying that they appreciated the spaces and they appreciated that people had spent the energy to do something beautiful for them. One elder said that whereas the very frail are typically forgotten, but for her, it was the most important time of her life because she knew her time was nearing the end.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
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