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The growing population of the elderly community in Lawrence, Kansas has forced designers to think about aging generation. With the life expectancy increasing at a rapid rate, the need for elderly care facilities has become more and more popular and with the baby- boomer generation approaching there will be no down time in this area. This means, designers need to begin to think about the needs of the elderly and consider developing healthier and safer environments for these citizens instead of placing them into nursing homes where activities are not a high priority. Designs need to begin to focus more on the interactive activities, exercise, social development, and memory enhancing activities. GMT & Partners has developed an elderly care facility just south of downtown Lawrence, which they focused on human interaction and the outdoor/indoor living environment connection while maintaining a high quality of living of independence in the residents private units. GMT & Partners had a number of goals they wanted to achieve in developing this facility, one was placing strong views facing east towards the street where the residents will receive the most indirect interaction of outdoor space. These views not only allow residents to see passer-bys but be able to see anybody approaching the building which tends to be something that elderly people appreciate the most because they know that someone is coming to visit. The elderly tend to need things that keep their mind stimulated at all times of the day and the designers have incorporated a number of things into the design to help maintain and enhance their memory along with keeping them visually interested in things. The first is the overhang surrounding three sides of the building, which not only provides protection from outdoor elements but with the triangular cuts throughout the overhang, this has allowed for interesting light and shadow effects to enter the communal spaces of the interior. This also creates an appealing aesthetic interest when pedestrians pass by the building and see different intersecting forms of light and shadow on the faรงade of the building. The second would be the very similar grid pattern on the ceilings above the living, dining, and kitchen spaces with lighting above the grid to give intersecting lines of shadow numerous surfaces of the interior. This tends to keep the residents interest as the light and shadow will change throughout the day with the sun moving overhead. GMT & Partners has given careful thought to the orientation and placement of the individual living units as well. Each space has its own private bath, full dressing area, sleeping quarters, and meditation/reading spot in them. All the reading spots in the unit maintain an eastern view towards the street to keep the indirect interaction alive in the independent living spaces. Here they are able have the same views as the main living space in the common area but only have it in privacy.


COMMUNAL INDEPENDENCE Location Lawrence, KS

N

Designer GMT & Partners Project Architect Greg Turner Project Duration November 2009 Under Construction 0 10 20 30 40 50

90

130

170

SITE PLAN

The growing population of the elderly community in Lawrence, Kansas has forced designers to think about aging generation. With the life expectancy increasing at a rapid rate, the need for elderly care facilities has become more and more popular and with the baby- boomer generation approaching there will be no down time in this area. This means, designers need to begin to think about the needs of the elderly and consider developing healthier and safer environments for these citizens instead of placing them into nursing homes where activities are not a high priority. Designs need to begin to focus more on the interactive activities, exercise, social development, and memory enhancing activities. GMT & Partners has developed an elderly care facility just south of downtown Lawrence, which they focused on human interaction and the outdoor/indoor living environment connection while maintaining a high quality of living of independence in the residents private units. GMT & Partners had a number of goals they wanted to achieve in developing this facility, one was placing strong views facing east towards the street where the residents will receive the most indirect interaction of outdoor space. These views not only allow residents to see passer-bys but be able to see anybody approaching the building which tends to be something that elderly people appreciate the most because they know that someone is coming to visit.

0 4 8 12 16 20

30

40

60

SOUTH ELEVATION

0 4 8 12 16 20

30

40

60

NORTHEAST ELEVATION

0 4 8 12 16 20

30

40

0 4 8 12 16 20

NORTH SECTION

60

30

40

60

NORTH SECTION


10

6

9 8

1

SECOND LEVEL

5 6 4

4

7

3

Northeast View

2

ENTRY LEVEL Legend 1 2 3 4 5

Outdoor Living Communal Space Kitchen / Dining Laundry Staff Entertainment

6 7 8 9 10

Resident Quarters Office Den / Living Space Indoor Garden Spa Room

There are a number of things to help keep the resident’s mind stimulated, first is the overhang surrounding three sides of the building, which not only provides protection from outdoor elements but with the triangular cuts throughout the overhang, this has allowed for interesting light and shadow effects to enter the communal spaces of the interior. This also creates an appealing aesthetic interest when pedestrians pass by the building and see different intersecting forms of light and shadow on the façade of the building. The second would be the very similar grid pattern on the ceilings above the living, dining, and kitchen spaces with lighting above the grid to give intersecting lines of shadow numerous surfaces of the interior. This tends to keep the residents interest as the light and shadow will change throughout the day with the sun moving overhead. GMT & Partners has given careful thought to the orientation and placement of the individual living units as well. Each space has its own private bath, full dressing area, sleeping quarters, and meditation/reading spot in them. All the reading spots in the unit maintain an eastern view towards the street to keep the indirect interaction alive in the independent living spaces. Here they are able have the same views as the main living space in the common area but only have it in privacy.

Living / Hearth

Kitchen / Dining

Communal Independence Living Center  

Designing for the elderly is an increasing challenge considering age of the "baby-boomers" is rising. For this reason the necessity for an...

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