ROSWELL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY
An Architectural Thesis presented to the Colleg Design and Planning, Universit;/ of Colorado at in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture.
Stephen Edward Cash
The Thesis of Stephen Edward Cash is approved.
University of Colorado at Denver
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chart A........................................... (2)
Thesis Statement .................................... (3)
Background .......................................... (5)
Chart B......................................... (6)
Chart C.......................................... (7)
Site Access......................................... (S)
Site Analysis........................................ (9)
Architecture and Environment ..................... (13)
Codes '............................................... (20)
Roswell Coning Codes ............................. (23)
Bibliography ......................................... (47)
Presentation Drawings ................................ (49)
The Roswell Retirement Community is a planned development of twenty duplex housing units, thirty-two apartments, a community center and spa facilities for the residents. The site is in Roswell, Georgia, a suburban town of about 25,000 people located twenty miles north of Atlanta, Georgia.
The housing units and apartments are designed for elderly residents with special consideration given to their physical limitations. The community center, besides providing recreational and social activities to the community's residents, will offer a limited number of nursing care rooms to those individuals who require special care on a temporary basis. The concept is to design the nursing unit to resemble a hotel within the communitvr center to provide health services and still give the resident a sense of dignity and independence. Twenty-four hour nursing care will be staffed by the center and medical services will be provided by a medical clinic adjacent to the site.
The residents will own their individual housing units and contribute a fee for the support of the community center and the development's amenities. Each duplex will be approximately 900 square feet with private garden spaces for each unit. The apartments v/ill be 720 square feet.
The community center v/ill contain meeting rooms and recreational facilities for community gatherings. The spa will contain a pool for exercise and hydro-therapy facilities for the elderly residents. A restuarant will serve the community's residents, the nursing unit, and the citizens of Roswell.
People over 65 years of age outnumber teenagers in the United States for the first time, and by the year 2010 their number will grow from todays 26 million to an estimated 39.3 million or 14 per cent of the Nation's population. (U.S. Cencus)
Because of this dramatic increase in the number of elderly citizens in our society, architecture should address the special needs of this segment of our society. Research shows that decreased mobility and constraints of economic conditions intensify the importance of the elderly's immediate environment.
Thus, it is critical that the designer develop an awareness of the physical, social, and psychological aspects of the aging process and the potential of the built environment to influence these processes.
Physical needs represent the most basic level at which architecture responds to human lifestyle. As people age, perceptual disabilities increase and physical mobility decreases. The environment may be tailored to accommodate changing behavior patterns with the use of such specific handicap aids as appropriate surfaces in terms of textures and materials, colors, and perceptual cueing devices. The environment, however, still must extend the potential for independent living, without removing a sense of challenge.
The built environment may respond to the loss of freedom an elderly person experiences in several ways.
The architectural frame should not dictate lifestyle; rather, it should maximize a sense of opportunity and choice with regard to what to do, who to see, where and how to be.
A common misconception is that as one ages, life's needs become simpler, life does not become simpler, but the physical realm of the elderly person tends to become more limited. The challenge to the designer is to provide an architectural frame that maximizes a sense of variety and complexity within a limited physical world.
The challenge requires more than provisions for filling time with activities and social programs. Rather, it involves the subtle layering of spaces within the realms of public and private, active and passive, and large and small. It calls for enriching peoples experiences within a place by creating opportunities to be together, to be alone, to participate, to pass through, to meet, and to avoid. In short, the design must allow for the layers of experience that enrich life on a moment-to-moment basis.
In the same vein of designing for the social and spatial environment, it is my goal to address in my thesis the atmospheric environment of the site. To design a community that meets the needs of the elderly, I must understand the climate of the region and deal with its effects on the built environment. As one ages, the sensitivity to extremes in temperature becomes more acute and the results of these changes can be more threatening to ones health. I plan to explore the use of passive solar designs to complete my original goal of blending man with his environment.
The Roswell Retirement Community is a project of the Interland Development Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and Bangkok, Thailand. The developers, Mr. Vita Chakrabandhu and Mr. Krit Ratanarak, have completed several residential subdivisions in the Atlanta area. They are considering the development of a retirement community to meet what they view as a new market.
This market consists of the elderly couple or single adult who desire a rural setting but have certain age limitations that require the support of a community.
The advances in medicine have increased the life expectancy of our citizens to an all time high. This increase in the duration of life forces us to address the types of environment best suited for the elderly person. To often, the elderly are regulated to nursing homes due to the lack of alternative placement.
Through the development of retirement communities specially designed for the limitations of aid age, it is hoped that additional options will be open to the elderly.
The Roswell Community is targeted to the aging 'empty-nester' who may not need the larger home from which he/she has raised their families. While still wanting the freedom of living independently, the Community provides security and social interaction that one might not have readily available in the present home.
Market research shows that the segment of population over 65 years of age in Roswell, Georgia ha.s remained stable between 19501380; however, the number of elderly in the U.S. has almost doubled. With this local market, combined with the increasing number of retirees moving to the southern regions of the United States, a ready market exists for this project.
HIGHE*5T POINT ON 5lTÂ£
The State of Georgia is located roughly between latitudes 30 and 35 N and longitudes 81and 86 W.
From north to south its length is 320 miles, and its maximum width is about 250 miles. With an area of over 58,000 square miles, it is the largest State east of the Mississippi River. Its elevation ranges from sea level along the southeast coast to almost 5,000 feet at it highest point in the northeast.
Georgias land area is made up of four principal physiographic provinces: The Blue Ridge or Mountain Province, the Valley and Ridge Province, the Piedmont Province, and the Coastal Plain Province.
Roswell, Georgia is located in the Piedmont Plateau Province, a wide area extending from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the Coastal Plain and comprising nearly one-third of the area of the State.
The terrain is mostly hilly in the north to rolling in the south, where it merges with the Coastal Plain. Elevations range from near 1,200 feet in the north to less than 500 feet in the south. The soils of the Piedmont are predominantly sandy loams to clay loams and are well suited for crops and vegetation.
Georgia is located in or close to the humid sub-tropical climate belt. Due to its proximity to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, most of Georgia has warm, humid summers and short, mild winters. However, in the northern part of the State, altitude becomes the more predominant influence with resulting cool summers and colder, but not severe winters. All four seasons are apparent, but spring is usually short and blustery with rather frequent periods of storminess of varying intensity. The flow of moist air from the Gulf over the warm land surface results in frequent afternoon thunderstorms in south and central Georgia during the summer. These not only provide most of the summer rainfall, but often bring welcome relief from the afternoon heat. In autumn long periods of mild, sunny weather are the rule for most of Georgia.
Winter temperatures show more variation from day to day than any other season. These large temperature fluctuations, or cold snaps, usually occur with regularity from mid-November to mid-March, alternate with longer periods of mild weather. Daytime temperatures almost always rise to above freezing, even during the coldest weather.
Average annual rainfall in Georgia ranges from more than 75 inches in the northeast to about 40 inches in the southeast. Total rainfall varies greatly from year to year with most stations showing more than twice as much rain in their wettest year as in their driest. It is not at all uncommon for these extreme variations to occur in successive years. In the Piedmont region, the cool season rainfall maximum predominates, with either January or March normally the wettest month. This is due to the greater influence on that area of the cyclonic storms that move across the country with regularity during winter and early spring. The mountains of north Georgia add enough lift to the moist air that is drawn into the forward side of these storms from the Gulf to add considerably to the total annual rainfall. October is normally the driest month in the State.
Snowfall is light in Georgia and of no significance at all in most of the State. Only in the extreme northern mountains is the average fall as much as 5 inches.
The greatest number and most damaging floods occur during winter and spring. The flood-producing rains are usually associated with slow-moving low pressure centers that pass through the State during these seasons.
Relative humidity averages are fairly high in Georgia due to its location near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and from the high frequency of wind flow from the direction of these warm waters. Year-round averages at 7:00 a.m. are approximately 80 to 85 per cent. By 1:00 p.m. the average has dropped to around 60 to 65 per cent.
Monthly Mean Max. Monthly Mean -Min. Monthly Mean Range
Jan. 55.2 34.1 21.1
Feb. 54.5 38.0 16.5
Mar. 60.8 42.2 18.6
Apr. 70.9 50.0 20.9
May 79.4 59.3 20.1
Jun. 86.7 67.4 19.3
Jul. 87.5 71.7 15.8
Aug. 87.1 70.3 16.8
Sep. 82.2 64.7 17.5
Oct. 72.0 52.1 19.9
Nov. 61.6 41.9 19.7
Dec. 52.4 37.8 14.6
^Design Temperature 18 F.
Precip. (in. j Winds Speed (MPH) Dir.' Heating Days (Base Cooling Days 65 F.)
Jan. 4.4 10.6 NW 639 0
Feb. 4.5 11.1 NW 529 0
Mar. 5.4 1 1.0 NW 437 0
Apr. 4.5 10.2 NW 168 38
May 3.2 8.7 NW 25 115
Jun. 3.8 7.9 NW 0 374
Jul. 4.7 7.4 SW 0 358
Aug. 3.6 7.1 NW 0 371
Sep. 3.3 8.0 ENE 18 265
Oct. 2.4 8.4 NW 127 95
Nov. 3.0 9.2 NW 414 13
Dec. 4.4 9.8 NW 626 5
Year 47.2 9.1 NW 2983 1634
Radiation* Sunshine* Clear Cloudiness Pt. Cld. * Cld
Jan. 1779 48 8 7 16
Peb. 1644 66 8 6 14
Mar. 1276 57 9 8 14
Apr. 764 65 10 8 12
May 469 69 10 10 11
Jun. 370 67 7 13 10
Jul. 458 83 5 14 12
Aug. 736 76 7 14 10
Sep. 1226 64 10 10 10
Oct. 1588 70 14 8 9
Nov. 1742 60 12 6 12
Dec. 1794 65 9 7 15
Year 66 109 111 145
*Solar Radiation on South Wall / Month, BTU/S.F. Day
*Sunshine Average % of Possible
^Cloudiness Mean Number of Days: Clear, Pt. Cloudy, Cloudy
*Humidity Group #4
55 58 .
Solid horizontal canopy may conduct reflected heat to building
Louvred canopy permits shading and provides ventilation of heat gain
Overhangs should exclude sun during summer, and permit passive heating in the winter.
Courtyards: Covered Patios and Porches
Provide outdoor protected spaces for temperature moderation.
(a) Shaded courtyard provides cooling of air.
(b) Sunpocket courtyard heats air; rising it draws cool air through
High Velocity Plow:
A small inlet with a large outlet creates high speeds in the interior.
Maximum Air Plow:
A large inlet with a large outlet opposite it creates maximum air flow. Preferred condition for natural cooling.
Architecture and Environment
The hot-humid climate of Georgia presents the greatest challenge to the designer of a project in this region.
The factor of high humidity makes the temperature feel ''hotter' than in a drier climate. There is a considerable shift in man's comfort zone as the moisture content of warm air increases.
Many vernacular building techniques, that are used worldwide in the hot-humid climate belt, enable structures to combat the discomforts of this zone. Modern architecture must learn from thses methods to achieve our goal of comprehensive environmental design.
Layout and form: Building separated and scattered with free spaces between them to utilize air flow. Individual structures should be elongated; rooms preferably -single banked with access from open verandahs or galleries.
Orientation: North and south for habitable rooms, but if buildings are in shade variation possible to provide maximum air flow. Orientation to reduce solar radiation most important with high rise buildings.
Rooms: Should ideally have openings on both the wind-
ward and leeward sides. Heat and moisture producing areas should be isolated and separately ventilated.
Windows and ventilation: Openings should be large with inlets of similar size where wide spread of air is needed. Large sliding or folding walls and adjustable louvres commonly used. Screens, lattices, grills etc., are useful to admit air flow and provide protection against glare. Although they reduce air flow, screens are essential. They are best installed away from windows and around verandah and balcony. Openings must be protected from radiation, glare, driving rain and noise.
Walls: Have less thermal capacity than most zones. Lightweight construction of materials with low thermal capacity. If height of walls is kept down it is easier to shade them and protect them from rain. Unshaded walls must he insulated and have a reflective outer surface.
Roof: Pitched to shed rain and with wide overhang for protection against glare. Lightweight,, low thermal capacity, ventilated double roof preferable but must be able to withstand winds. Reflective roof covering with ceiling well insulated and with reflective upper surface. Space between roof and ceiling proofed against insects.
Surfaces: Roof and exposed walls should be reflective.
It is difficult to maintain light color paints in this climate due to high humidity and fungal growth.
The Uniform Building Code and Zoning Ordinances of Roswell, Georgia will serve as the major constraint/ influence for building codes on this project.
The Rosedale Community Center is broken down into two separate occupancy types with the public section designated as A-3 and the nursing unit as 1-2. The housing units are a R-3 designation.
Requirements Based on Occupancy
Chapter 3 Classification of All Building By Use or Occupancy and General Requirements For All Occupancies.
Mixed Oc cupan cy:
(a) General:' When a building is used for more than one occupancy purpose, each part of the building comprising a distinct "Occupancy," as described in Chapters 5 through 12, shall be separated from any other occupancy as specified in Sec. 503(d).
When a building houses more than one occupancy, each portion of the building shall conform to the requirements for the occupancy housed therein. The area of the building shall be such that the sum of the ratios of the actual area divided by the allowable area for such a separate occupancy shall not exceed one.
(b) Forms of Occupancy Separations:
Occupancy separations shall be vertical or horizontal or both or, when necessary, of such other form as may be required to afford a complete separation between the various occupancy divisions in the building.
Where the occupancy separation is horizontal, structural members supporting the separation shall be protected by equivalent fire-resistive construction.
(c) Types of Occupancy Separations:
A "one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation" shall be of not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction. All openings in such a separation shall be protected by a fire assembly having a one-hour fire-protection rating.
Group Occupancies Defined:
Rosedale Community Center Group A Sec. 601 Division 3.
Any building or portion of a building having an assembly room with an occupant load of less than 300 without a stage, including such buildings used for educational purposes and not classed as a Group E or Group B, Division 2 Occupancy.
Group I Sec. 1001 Division 2.
Nursing homes for ambulatory patients, homes for children six years of age or over (each accommodating more than five persons).
Group R Sec. 1201 Division 3.
Dwelling and lodging houses.
Required Separation in Buildings of Mixed Occupancy Group A-3 and Group 1-2 - 3 hours
Allowable Ploor Area
Max. Bldg. Ht
Group A-3 Con. Type I Con. Type II
29,900 sq. ft
Unlimited 12 stories
Group 1-2 Con. Type I Con. Type II
Unlimited 15,100 sq. ft
Unlimited 3 stories
Group R-3 Con. Type I Con. Type II
Unlimited 3 stories
Fire Resistance of Exterior Walls
Openings in Exterior Walls
Group A-3 2 hrs. less than
1 hr. less than 40 ft.
Group 1-2 1 hour
Group R-3 1 hr. less than
Not permitted less than 5 ft. Protected less than 10 ft.
Not permitted less than 5 ft. Protected less than 10 ft.
Not permitted less than 3 ft.
Light Ventilation Sanitation
Group A-3 Ext. Opening Min. 1/10 total room floor area Ext. Opening Min. 1/20 total room floor area 1 Bathroom for each sex
Group 1-2 Ext. Opening Min. 1/10 total room floor area Ext. Opening Min. 1/20 total room floor area 1 Bathroom for each sex
Group R-3 Ext. Opening 1/10 total room floor area. Min. 10 sq. ft. Ext. Opening 1/20 total room floor area. Min. 3 sq. ft. 1 Bathroom
Roswell Zoning Ordinances
R-3 Multifamily Residential District
The R-3 Multifamily Residential District is intended to provide suitable areas for the single family, two-family and multifamily dwellings at medium densities (2 to 8 housing units per acre).
Within the R-3 District the following uses shall be permitted:
(1) Single-family detached.
(2) Single-family attached dwellings, including patio homes, townhouses, row houses and condominiums.
(3) Two-family dwellings (duplexes)
(4) Multifamily dwellings (apartment houses)
(5) Boarding houses
(6) Nursing, convalescent, or rest homes not used primarily for the treatment of contagious diseases, alcoholics, drug addicts, or psychotics.
(7) Parks, playgrounds, community centers,- swimming pools, golf courses, and other recreational facilities operated on a non-profit basis.
- Maximum building height shall not exceed thirty-five (35) feet or two and one-half stories.
- No more than twenty dwelling units shall be permitted to form a single building.
- No more than three (3) contiguous dwellings which form a part of a single building shall have the same front setback or roof line. Said setback and roof line shall be varied by a minimum of at least two (2) feet.
- Sidewalks may be required where necessary for safe pedestrian circulation of all public streets within or adjacent to the development.
.- Each development shall provide the following minimum yards around its periphery:
Front Yard: There shall he a front yard having a minimum depth of not less than forty (40) feet.
Side Yard: There shall be no less than thirty (30) feet of side yard depth along all side lot lines except where a side yard abuts a single family dwelling district or a side street, where the side yard shall be not less than forty (40) feet.
Rear Yard: There shall be a rear yard having a minimum depth of not less than thirty-five (35) feet, except where a rear yard abuts a single-family dwelling district, where the rear yard shall be not less than fifty (50) feet.
- All individual subdivided parcels within the development shall comply with the following minimum yard requirements, except where peripheral yards of the development require greater depths:
Front Yard: There shall be a front yard having a minimum depth of not less than twenty (20) feet.
Side Yard: There shall be two side yards one on either side of the building of not less than seven (7) feet; provided, however, that an encroachment and maintenance easement may be provided on neighboring parcels in combination with or in lieu of a side yard such that the seven (7) foot dimension is achieved, and a minimum building separation of fourteen (14) feet is maintained.
Rear Yard: There shall be a rear yard having a minimum depth of not less than thirty (30) feet.
- Frontage: All developments proposed pursuant to this Plan shall provide at least fifty (50; feet of frontage on a public dedicated street and each subdivided parcel within the development shall provide at least twenty (20) feet of frontage on a public dedicated street.
- Lot or Parcel Width: The minimum width of a lot or parcel within the development shall not be less than twenty (20) feet.
- Minimum Development Lot Area: The minimum lot area for a development shall not he less than two (2) acres (87,120 square feet). The minimum lot area of any individual subdivided parcel within the development shall be not less than 2,000 square feet.
- Maximum Density: The maximum number of dwelling units per gross acre (43,560 square feet) of the development shall not exceed nine (9).
- Buffers: Buffers and/or landscaped areas may be required in order to provide privacy and separation between adjacent properties.
Residential Floor Area Regulations
- Each dwelling unit shall have a minimum heated floor area of 1000 square feet.
- Private, usable open space, such as balconies, sun-decks, patios, etc., shall be provided contiguous to each dwelling unit. The area of such open space provided for each unit shall not be less than ten percent of the floor area of the unit served.
Off-Street Parking Regulations
- No off-street parking shall be permitted in any required front yard. On a corner property, no off-street parking shall be permitted within the side yard between the buildings and the adjacent street.
- No off-street parking or driveways shall be located within ten (10) feet of any perimeter lot line.
- Two (2) parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit.
Screening garbage and Storage Areas
- All exterior garbage, incinerators, or other outside storage areas shall be screened by a solid enclosure of not less than four (4) feet in height.
Open Space Requirements
- Open space requirements for Townhouse Residential buildings shall be as follows:
The minimum distances between buildings, when so arranged shall be as follows:
- Open space requirements for single-family dwelling and two-family dwelling uses shall be as follows:
The minimum distance between buildings when arranged side to side shall be fourteen (14) feet; the minimum distance shall be twenty-five (25) feet for all other building arrangements.
- Principal identification signs provided that only one such sign containing not more than twelve (12) square feet in area shall be permitted for each entrance to the development, and that all such signs shall be placed either on the building or at least thirty (30) feet from the street right-of-way, unless incorporated as part of a decorative entrance-way structure.
- Provided that no swimming pool may be placed nearer than thirty (30) feet to any rear or side lot line, nor nearer than fifty (50) feet to any public street line. Provided further that when located adjacent to a single family residential district, such pools shall not be located within one hundred and fifty (150) feet thereof, except in cases when located so as to be screened from the single family dwelling district by a townhouse dwelling, or an accessory structure greater in length by a minimum of twenty
Front to Rear Rear to Rear
Front or Rear to Side Side to Side
Front to Front
Fifty (50) feet Sixty (60) feet Fifty (50) feet Forty (40) feet Forty (40) feet
(20) feet on each side of such pools, the distance of one hundred and fifty (150) feet shall not he required. A fence of minimum height of five (5) feet shall he provided around the perimeter of all swimming pools.
THE' HOUSING UNIT:
The elderly residents of the Rosedale Retirement Community will create their own personal environment inside their dwelling units. As their new 'home' residents can retreat from all others to a secure, and most of all, private area. Because retired people spend so much time in their home, its design must provide an: interesting environment which supports the varied interests of each individual. These needs include ease of maintenance, flexibility in furniture arrangements for hobbies, adequate storage for the accumulation of a life's worth of valued possessions, and convenient and safe access between rooms without sacrificing privacy.
Residents moving into a retirement community have a broad range and assortment of furnishings. More often than not, they are moving from larger homes where they have accumulated furniture over the years. Some are attached to this furniture because it serves as a symbol of continuity and family. Others cannot afford to buy new furniture that fits into the limited space of their new residences. Still others have specific furniture that supports their individual hobbies or activities.
Design Response -
Plan living rooms as cul-de-sacs with no through circulation so that space for furniture is not taken up by circulation.
Provide wall space in the dining room for a hutch because many elderly residents are particularly attached to this large piece of furniture for the display of mementos.
Maximize uninterrupted wall lengths in living room and bedroom to accommodate large pieces of furniture like sofas and beds.
Provide place for special furniture like sewing machines and hobby tables, preferably near a window.
Arrange living room walls, windows and TV outlet so that there is a convenient and natural place for a television across from the sofa, other than in front of a window.
Elderly residents living alone have a wide range of dining needs. When alone they may want a quick meal or snack without going to the trouble of formally setting a table. Sometimes they want to entertain friends and relatives more formally in the dining room.
Design Response -
Provide an area for a small table in the kitchen. This provides the resident a convenient place to sit down and eat an informal meal by themselves.
Combine kitchen table area and entertaining area into one separate dining space accessible from the kitchen. This provides an area separate from either kitchen or living room which can be used formally or informally.
With increasing problems of agility and balance, easy accessibility between different areas in the residence becomes more important for older people. Spaces difficult to reach not only create inconveniences but can also be hazardous to residents' safety. However, easy physical access must not be achieved at the expense of visual privacy in areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. To maintain their privacy with visitors, residents need to control visual access to these areas where the more private activities such as personal hygiene, sleeping, and cooking, take place.
Design Response -
Organize residence so that it does not force residents or their guests to walk through the kitchen on entering the unit or when moving from one room to another.
Plan layout so that guests do not have to walk through the bedroom on way to bathroom. Minimize views into sleeping areas from entrance and living room.
Plan as direct a route as possible between bedrooms and bathroom with a minimum of corners and doors.
Where possible swing doors in the direction of travel from bedroom to bathroom. 'This is important because some elderly residents use bathrooms frequently during the night.
Storage and Display;
The elderly over their lifetime typically have accumulated many objects that reflect personal tastes and lifestyles. Some objects are still used, if only occasionally, and some objects are associated with past events, persons, or periods in a long life. As older persons tend to reminisce, they place great value on these belongings and do not want to part with them. As a result, they need areas in the residence to display as well as store their possessions. Problems of mobility and agility suggest that stored items be easily accessible and located closest to the area of their use.
Design Response -
Provide wall space, even small panels, in all rooms as well as in the entry for easy and convenient display of photographs, pictures, and other momentos.
Provide deep window sills for displaying plants and knick-knacks. These can be display areas to the outside world.
Avoid high, over-the-counter shelving in kitchens, particularly over the stove and refrigerator in favor of a pantry, or other narrow open shelving to aid accessibility.
Plan several different types of storage areas in the residence: coat closet in entry; broom closet;
pantry in kitchen; linen closet outside bathroom; and clothes closets in bedroom. In addition, provide a larger, walk-in area for infrequently used items like a foldaway bed.
- Provide some lockable storage area accessible from outdoors to store shovels, gardening tools, and lawn chairs.
The entry to the residence is important because it marks the beginning of 'home* territory and is used to control access to, and privacy within the dwelling.
Entries must be large enough to accommodate such activities as putting on and taking off coats, greeting visitors, and still permit the resident to keep out unwanted others. In addition, while being a convenient passageway it must minimize visual contact with more private areas within the home.
Design Response -
Separate the entry from the rest of the unit with an intermediary ritual stopping place such as a foyer or vestibule. Design this area large enough to allow easy removal of coats and with space for a small table to set packages on.
- Just outside the door provide a wall shelf or space for unloading packages. This reduces older residents' difficulty and inconvenience with entering the unit.
Some older persons do not go out often and are occasionally bedridden. They rely on views from their residence to keep, them in touch with what is happening in the outside world. Views of the outdoors can offer visual relief if windows in the residence are located to maximize views of activities while sitting in the home.
In at least one living area overlooking an active area or pathway, locate a window next to which one can put a comfortable chair.
Provide a window near the dining table so residents can watch activities while eating or relaxing.
Design some living room window sill heights low enough to enable residents to see ground level activity when seated next to windows.
Private Outdoor Space:
Dither by choice or physical limitation, many of the elderly spend most of their time in their residence.
With such a limited home range, outdoor extensions of the private space takes on added importance. It provides a change of environment close at hand, an area to grow flowers, and it can perceptually increase the size of the living space. The garden space offers immediate access to fresh air which is important for some residents with respiratory problems. In addition, verandahs and patios are particularly desirable in southern climates.
Design Response -
At the rear of the residence locate small garden spaces for the planting of flowers and/or vegetables.
Provide individual paved patios or porches to provide residents an extension of their private dwelling.
Outdoor Shared Spaces;
Older persons in residential environments characteristically watch out for one another and are therefore interdependent. Immediate neighbors often provide support daily as well as in emergencies. To facilitate this support network, residences can be arranged so that shared areas for neighboring activities occur naturally.
Provide sitting areas on grade near units where residents can go to meet each other and greet passersby.
Design and locate shared public areas to avoid visual and auditory invasion of nearby units. Example: Distance, plantings, grade changes and low fences.
If both a shared outdoor area and a private outdoor space for an individual residence are adjacent, provide symbolic walls or gates to clearly delineate between these two. This may help avoid invading of private areas by those using shared places and taking over of shared areas by any individual neighbor.
To enhance social interaction among neighbors, residents must have opportunities to meet others around them. Arranging residential units in clusters provides a smaller social unit than the entire complex as well as a 'neighborhood' to identify with. The outdoor areas and facilities, whether they be sidewalks, porches, flower gardens, or open space, must be designed so that all residents in the cluster feel they have equal access to them.
Design Response -
Use natural site elements as well as built form elements like color, scale, and materials to unify clusters visually. This allows people to realize that all units in one cluster relate to one other.
Plan pathways within the cluster visible to all units but separated by changes in grade, planting, or fences so that those on the circulation path do not invade the privacy and territory of people in surrounding units.
Separate pathways within the cluster from pathways serving the entire community so that cluster units have a defined territory.
ROSWELL COMMUNITY CENTER
Older residents often have no job or immediate family to draw them into active community participation. As these former group ties weaken, older persons become increasingly dependent of people in their residential environment for social support and friendship. Like all humans, the elderly often find it difficult to go out of their way to make friends. For these reasons the residents need encourgement to meet their neighbors and other residents. Walking to, and taking part in recreation and community activities provides many opportunities for daily social interaction. To achieve this the community center must be located to maximize these encounters.
Design Response -
Group together both indoor and outdoor community spaces to create a focal point of activity on the site. This increases the possibility that residents engaging in one activity will meet residents doing something else.
locate community spaces on pathways most heavily used by the residents.
Locate community spaces near services often used by residents such as laundry, mail area, and manager's office. This increases the likelihood that residents v/ill drop by the community -area.
Locate community spaces within view of a maximum number of residential units. This provides nearby residents with something to watch and increases the probability that they will be attracted to the activity in the community area.
Locate community spaces to maximize easy access from the reatest number of residences. This will provide residents with the maximum opportunity to take advantage of community spaces if they would like to. This may mean covering walkways for protection from bad v/eather, and avoiding steep grades, the crossing of vehicular pathways, and architectural barriers.
Community Center Space:
For older persons who rely heavily on their immediate environment for recreational and social activities, a community social center for resident use ia a necessity. The center is used for a wide variety of organized and drop-in activities like card games, tenant meetings, dinners, and holiday parties. Some residents use centers for family parties too large to be held in their individual residence. To accommodate these activities the center needs spaces varying in size, furnishings, and atmosphere and offering different levels of group privacy. To some residents, the center means recreational facalities for pleasure and physical conditioning.
Design Response -
Provide at least one space which residents can use informally as a sort of living room where other residents can drop in to see what is going on and to join in. Such activities include TV watching, reading, or just visiting with friends.
Provide a place with kitchen facilities large enough for residents to use for anniversaries and birthday parties of around fifteen to twenty people.
As these activities are private ones taking place in a public area, residents must be able to control the space to ensure privacy.
Provide one large area in which all residents can gather for a community meeting or group games like bingo.
Provide a special area that can be claimed by the men of the community for their casual use. As there are considerably more women than men of retirement age, their few numbers create a natural tendency to band together.
Provide a space adjacent to the laundry room where residents can wait and meet with their friends.
Provide space for group recreational activities such as aerobics classes and arts and crafts activities.
'The inclusion of a swimming pool in a community center is especially beneficial to the residents of a retirement community. Its hydro-therapy is excellant treatment for the disabilities of old age, such as arthritis.
The community center staff offices must be easily accessible to residents. However, the staff must be able to control their privacy to adequately perform their duties.
The relationship between residential units, community activity spaces, and outdoor areas is important to the success of any residential development. The circulation on the site between these elements can be as important as the activities within the spaces. This movement, pedestrian or vehicular, must be convenient, easily understood, visually interesting, and offer potential for social encounters or retreat when desired.
Outdoor Community Spaces:
In good weather many older persons take advantage of opportunities for outdoor activities providing them with fresh air, exercise, and a change of environment. These activities include socializing, game playing, and being seen. To accommodate these activities, extensions of indoor community spaces are needed. Some activities depend on proximity to community spaces for storage of special equipment.
Design Response -
locate patios for parties and barbecue pits next to interior community.areas, because residents will need to use indoor facilities like kitchens and bathrooms.
Along the pathways and within view of the community center, locate activities which require equipment and an audience to work effectively. These include shuffleboard, checkers, chess tables, and putting greens. All of these areas will also require shaded spectator benches.
Einding one's way around a development can be difficult for both residents and visitors when pathways are not clear and where entrances are not marked. As a result, careful consideration must be given to site layout so that the giving and following of directions from one place to another on the site can occur with ease. Pathfinding confusion arises when streets or paths which are
at the hack of one unit are at the front of another unit; when there is no distinction made between areas for resident use and areas open to the general public; and when buildings seem to have two front sides.
It is important to resolve these issues because clear pathfinding will add to the elderlys sense of security.
Design Response -
Organize the site to provide a clear residential unit address within the convential address system of streets and houses.
Clearly delineate entrances to residences architecturally by color, by number, and by decorating. This makes it easier for residents to find their way and it aids in directing others to where they live.
Plan landmarks on the site like an old tree, a flag pole, a clock tower, or a gazebo. These markers make it easier for residents to know where they are and to find their way around.
Finding ones way and giving directions can be confusing if there is no clear distinction between front door and back door, and if circulation paths that are back door to some residences are front door to others. In this same light, avoid having car movement and drop-off on one side and front doors on the other.
In addition to programmed facilities for socializing and game playing, the elderly have a need for more quiet and secluded outdoor spaces. They occasionally retreat to these areas when they are in a contemplative mood, want to take a walk without meeting others, or need a change of scenery from the residential unit.
An important aspect of retreats is that they offer additional choices to the residents. While the goal of a retreat may be a quiet nice place, the process of getting there may be just as important to older persons.
Design Response -
Take advantage of natural features like tree groves, a stream, or a pond to provide places to walk to on the site at some distance from housing, somewhat removed from sight, and with a natural vista if possible.
Where there are no natural features to take advantage of, construct special features as retreats like gazebos, duck ponds, or picnic areas.
To maximize use of retreats, locate natural trails or create planned pathways from all residential units.
Although barriers to mobility must generally be minimized along main paths, include some secondary trails with more challenging terrain such as steeper grades and unpaved paths for those who are more capable.
THE COMMUNITY AND THE TOWN:
Although the Roswell Retirement Community provides many opportunities for older residents to socialize and participate in a variety of activities, residents must have access to the rest of the community to use other resources, exercise, visit friends, or just to find a change of environment. Links between the town and the community must therefore be convenient and direct for both pedestrians and vehicles. Because they are segreated by age, many older residents miss the occasional opportunities to interact with other age groups.
Access On and Off the Site:
The elderly frequently have difficulty maintaining connections with the larger surrounding neighborhood because of problems with mobility and transportation. Despite these barriers, moving off their housing site to run errands or participate in community activities, is an essential part of their lives. Most enjoy walking in their neighborhood; some are picked up and dropped off by family or friends; others rely on public transportation; and still others own and operate their own cars. It is essential for the resident's wellbeing that site design accomodate movement betv/een the residential community and amenities in town.
Design Response -
Plan some element of 'front door' or 'gateway' to the community to increase chances that residents will develop a sense of identity with the residential community they live in. This could be in the form of one main entrance for vehicles entering the site, highlighted by a landmark, a sign, or the continuation of an existing street into the development.
Site buildings to provide a natural path for easy access to off-site commercial and recreational facilities. This path should be the closest short cut to such facilities and may parallel the primary automobile access route passing through the community's main entrance.
Facilities For Non-Residents:
To create opportunities for contact and to facilitate integration of the retirement community into the surrounding neighborhood, facilities for adults may he located on elderly housing sites if they do not conflict with the privacy of residential units and activities of the residents. Options might include classroom instruction or restaurant facilities adjoining the community center.
Design Response -
- Provide outsiders with a way to get into neighborhood-wide facilities without invading residential areas like game rooms and laundry.
locate facilities intended for neighborhood use so that visitors are not forced to walk through the site to get to them.
Design and locate neighborhood spaces to be easily readable from outside the residential area and from the entry. Do not bury these facilities on the site. This minimizes disorientation and makes it easier for guests to find their way.
Many older persons are dependent on cars for transportation: cars owned by residents, cars belonging to friends or relatives, cars shared by a group, or taxis. Therefore some residents spend time waiting for others to pick them up. Although watching others entering and debarking from cars provides something for less mobile residents to do, parked cars with little acitvity around are not necessarily interesting
Design Response -
locate long term parking facilities for resident's cars so that they do not dominate or block views from the residential units.
Plan several smaller parking areas spread around the site rather than having one large parking lot.
For safety and convenience it is essential that residents not be forced to walk unnecessary distances or between parked cars to get from their residences to vehicles picking them up, and that entryways have clear and convenient vehicle dropoff areas.
Parking areas must not block entrances to any natural pedestrian pathways often used to get on and off the site.
Make vehicular drop-off points visible from community areas and from residences to increase the likelihood that residents will see what is going on
Drop-off and pick-up points can be linked to a residential cluster or the community as a whole. Benches should be provided in these areas for sitting and waiting.
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Alexander, Christopher, et. a., A Pattern Language,
Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1977.
Barrier Free Site Design, United States Department of Housing & Urban Development, Washington, D.C.
Bennett, Robert, Sun Angles For Design, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.,
Ching, Francis D.K., Architecture: Form, Space and Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, New York,
Crowther, Richard L., Sun/Barth: Alternative Energy Design For Architecture, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, New York, 1983.
Interview, Ms. Susan Cannon, Planner, City of Roswell, Roswell, Georgia, September, 1984.
Lynch, Kevin, Site Planning, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974.
Mazria, Edward, The Passive Solar Energy Book, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pa., 1979.
Newman, Oscar, Defensible Space, Collier Books, New York, New York, 1973.
Ramsey & Sleeper, Architectural Graphic Standards,
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 1970.
Roswell Development Plan, City of Roswell, Georgia, Mayor W. L. Mabry.
Uniform Building Code, international Conference of Building Officials, Whittier, California, 1982
MASTERS THESIS MAY 1985 STEPHEN E. CASH
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