Location: Grande Prairie, AB
Project Value: $42 Million
This “urban village” located in Grande Prairie consists of up to 5 linked buildings housing residents with a variety of care requirements. In addition to 65 units of Independent Living market housing, Phase 1 includes 156 Supportive Living suites for frail elderly, seniors with mental disability, residents with dementia, youth with physical disabilities needing day-to-day assistance, and palliative care. A Day Program is also accommodated.
Each client group requires specific programmatic and functional requirements, but the plan was driven by a desire to address various levels of privacy needs and to create an environment that fostered a sense of community for residents, their visitors, as well as staff. To this end, spaces were organized around central spines using the analogy of the “street”, thereby creating “stoops”, “plazas”, “squares”, “neighbourhoods” and “sanctuaries”, defined by codified uses of material and colour, articulation of various sizes and character of private and public spaces, and relationship to the outdoors/access to natural light.
Attention was paid to designing the larger public places within the building with different qualities, varying their volumes, interior treatment, and relationship to outside landscaping. These include the multi-functional main “sanctuary” that opens into a large “public plaza” which is the main lobby, and shared dining room that acts as the main locus of public space but of a more domestic nature. These are balanced with more intimate gathering and sitting spaces located throughout the project. Unit clusters around their own kitchen, dining, and lounge areas are meant to foster resident/visitor participation in daily life as well as spontaneous staff interaction with residents. In addition, living “green walls” within the buildings and views to courtyards further define common spaces, and help address the long winters.