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Connecticut Avenue

Sunrise Assisted Living The Washington Chapter Architecture Awards 2005


Pictures of the neighborhood

Connecticut Avenue Introduction The owner, Sunrise Senior Living, sought an architect to design an assisted living facility that would be a dramatic departure from almost all of the company’s other senior living buildings, typically located in suburban areas. The exterior and interior design of this facility would convey a residential scale and character. In addition to bringing together occupants and their neighbors, physically and contextually, the building needed to complement the surrounding Northwest, DC architecture. The home incorporates 85 resident units in its assisted living portion, and 15 units in a state-of-the-art program designed for

those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments. The goal of the design was to make the senior residents feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. In looking for an appropriate design vernacular, the architects canvassed the surrounding historical neighborhood borrowing details and motifs of significant turn-of-the-century residential homes. This sensibility was carried throughout every major aspect of the design, from the façade’s cornices and lintels to the interior spaces’ well-detailed embellishments and treatments.


The Site The site of Connecticut Avenue is located just south of Chevy Chase Circle, where multi-family buildings, town homes and even single-family homes converge to form an ethnically diverse residential neighborhood whose beginning dates to the mid nineteenth century. The front facade of the building integrates form and function with the already dynamic streetscape. A wide plaza entry area serves as a threshold between the neighborhood and the building. This area allows the residents to interact with passers-by in a semi-public space. The formal entry to the site is elaborately landscaped.

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0 15’ 30’

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Neighborhood buildings


First Floor Situated on a prominent juncture of two main Washington D.C. thoroughfares, the building features sidewalk entrances through canopy-covered porches that flank the building’s interior public spaces. These further enhance the contextual connection with the neighborhood. The irregular floor plan conformed to building set back constraints with respect to public alleys and residential lot consolidation. Circular corner turrets, Sunrise’s signature element, highlight each prominent intersection. These features also create a vertical element that punctuates each residential wing. A

The entrance sequence begins with the grand foyer. It provides views thru the sunlit elevator lobby into the rear plaza. To the left is a “Bistro” designed for afternoon tea and evening cordials. Extending from the grand foyer is the formal dining area, which is flanked on all three sides by landscaped terraces. Although in a dense urban area, one is constantly in view of lush gardens. Beneath this the terrace and lobby floor is a basement garage with access for deliveries and a lower level entrance lobby.

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1

ELEVATOR LOBBY

13

CONFERENCE ROOM

2

GRAND FOYER

14

STAFF LOUNGE

3

ENTRY

15

MARKETING ROOM

4

PALOR

16

DROP-OFF

5

SUN ROOM

17

GARAGE ENTRANCE BELOW

6

BISTRO

ADMINISTRATION/ SERVICES

7

GARDEN

CIRCULATION

8

DINING ROOM

RESIDENT COMMUNITY

9

PRIVATE DINING ROOM

RESIDENTIAL ROOMS SPACE

10

KITCHEN

11

ADMINISTRATOR OFFICE

12

WORK ROOM

17

1

14 7 10

11

C

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8 2 B

9

6

A

3

4 5

16

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15’

30’

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13

15


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D


Second & Third Floors The grand staircase at the entry ascends a two-story atrium to the second floor activity room and entertainment area. The elevator lobby has exceptional views of Washington and functions as an informal gathering area. The remainder of the floor contains resident rooms in two neighborhoods, each with it’s own living rooms ideal for morning coffee and reading the paper. The “Reminiscent Care” area located on the third floor is truly state of the art for improving the quality of life for persons with dementia (Alzheimer, etc.). The space promotes personal dignity while also providing a safe environment for residents and staff. The activity and dining areas are carefully planned to allow for wandering to ease the daily anxieties. A large terrace abuts these areas to allow for ample natural light to penetrate deep into the building. This also eases the affects of ‘sun downing’ in dementia residents. The elevated deck has decorative full height pre-cast screening to protect the residents and provide an attractive visual vista.

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E

11

1 1 2

2

ELEVATOR LOBBY 5

LIVING ROOM

3

THERAPEUTIC SPA

4

RES. LAUNDRY

5

MECH. ROOM

6

ACTIVITY ROOM

7

SPECIAL NEEDS TERRACE

8

ASSISTED DINING ROOM

9

ASSISTED NURSE

10

WELLNESS

11

ACTIVITIES COORDINATION

12

MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT

13

LIFE SKILLS

14

STAFF OFFICE ADMINISTRATION/ SERVICES

9

10

12

2

6

2

SECOND FLOOR 1 1 3

5 13 6

8

E F

14

4

12 D

7

THIRD FLOOR

CIRCULATION RESIDENT COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL ROOMS SPACE

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Residential Levels The remaining upper floors compromise the majority of the residential units. Different amenities are located on each floor to encourage interaction among residents and to foster a sense of neighborhood. The penthouse suites are situated on the sixth and seventh floors. The additions of private balconies are one of many amenities provided for these residents. The residential units are provided with upgraded finish packages as well as lounges for breakfast and afternoon social hours. The luxurious roof top garden and gazebo, which offers views to the lush vegetation of Northwest Washington, DC, highlights the quality communal spaces provided in this facility.


1

ELEVATOR LOBBY

6

ACTIVITY ROOM

ADMINISTRATION/ SERVICES

2

LIVING ROOM

7

GARDEN

CIRCULATION

3

THERAPEUTIC SPA

8

TURRET GAZEBO

RESIDENT COMMUNITY

4

RES. LAUNDRY

9

HAIRCARE

RESIDENTIAL ROOMS SPACE

5

MECH. ROOM

1 3

2

5

4

6

FOURTH FLOOR 1 6 5

9

7

6

2

FIFTH FLOOR

1 2 5

3

4

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SIXTH FLOOR

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2 I 7 8

SEVENTH FLOOR

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Rendering by Dunnette

The Challenges The constraints and opportunities of placing this large facility into an established major urban community were considerable. Although Sunrise had introduced various Victorian-style facilities in over 250 suburban communities, the program and branding of this new facility had to be reanalyzed and prioritized. Realizing that the urban residents would have their own needs and preferences, the firm’s designers worked closely with the facility’s care providers to identify program needs and aesthetic considerations. Washingtonians by nature are generally conservative in terms of their architectural tastes. The respect to the turn-of-thecentury classical Colonial and Victorian styles is a valued appearance. Sunrise and the architects used this perspective as a guideline in the project’s development.


It is worth noting that the architects were able to use the District zoning and building codes to the client’s advantage. Building setbacks and strict height restrictions created niches for balconies and allowed us to create a roof garden at the lower height requirement. The porch canopy is column-less to eliminate the building code requirement of bulky fireproofing for columns. This allows for the exposure of the intricate ornamental metal roof with exposed ironwork. All safety measures required in a high-rise, including addressable fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, egressable elevators, emergency generators, and wireless addressable scout phone systems were provided.

ADMINISTRATION/ SERVICES CIRCULATION RESIDENT COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL ROOMS SPACE


Conclusion In summary, this senior living residence provides the comfort and familiarity of a residential environment for occupants who require institutional support. This philosophy is held within a building shell responsive to its surrounding urban context and Washington’s stylistic heritage.


Senior Living - Connecticut Avenue  

Senior Living - Connecticut Avenue by BeeryRio

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