The current Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellows share their ideas, inspirations and photos from the field on our blog. Learn more about the Fellowship.
I won’t pretend that I’m a David Letterman fan. Except for the occasional west coast sporting event, I haven’t stayed up to watch television since I completed graduate school. I’ll leave his plaudits to the pundits and steal his top ten list – a most useful convention. Lists are great; there’s a reason Buzzfeed is popular. Without further ado:
1. Locate close to services
Prioritize daily uses – grocery store, pharmacy or transit. Historically some senior housing has been located adjacent to hospitals as an outgrowth of medical functions. This leads to an institutional environment and a disconnect from traditional communities – characteristics that we ought to avoid.
2. Create an appealing outdoor environment
Outdoor space at Walnut Park Apts. in Portland, OR
Senior housing designs should include places to walk and sit outside. Orient covered porches towards the street or other activity. Raised accessible garden beds give residents the ability to continue gardening or take up a new hobby.
3. The Multipurpose room has to have a purpose!
Too often the common spaces we create in senior housing have not been carefully considered. Circulation patterns, expected uses, unexpected uses – everything needs to be considered. Some of this work falls to the owner or building manager, but the architect can spur this by thoroughly interrogating the building program.