For the fourth year participants in the DESIGN Showcase were asked to discuss the real challenges they faced in developing and executing a design. Going beyond displaying a project's highlights, many honestly laid out the difficulties they encountered in realizing this success. Here are excerpts from this year's entries:
The Cottages at Brushy Creek
Obstacle: This project was the first family oriented, residential, 12-bed cottage-style skilled nursing facility to be built in South Carolina. The greatest obstacle was working within institutional state regulations to implement a small, intimate residential project.
Solution: The reviewing and licensing agencies of the state of South Carolina embraced the concept of smaller (12-bed) cottages and worked with the owner/architect to implement this innovative concept, while still keeping the intent of the state nursing home regulations.
Obstacle: The open kitchen presented challenges in terms of fire code and exhaust hood restrictions for residential versus nursing home full-service kitchens.
Solution: Architects specified a commercial hood meeting the minimum size requirements. Additional “tank” fire extinguishers were installed while maintaining the aesthetic look of a home kitchen.
Obstacle: This “non-lift” facility, in which staff members are not allowed to manually lift residents, incorporated the ceiling-mounted lift track system in each private bedroom.
Solution: Swinging, residential-style 7′-0″ doors, open above to the ceiling, were installed at the private baths, which not only enhanced the residential feel but met the institutional needs of the track system.
Obstacle: Creating an intimate feel in the large gathering/living area of each home.
Solution: One very successful element was the use of authentic Williamsburg historic colors, using a darker color below the “Mission” style 7′2″ trim and a lighter shade of the same color above to break up the space. Also, Arts and Crafts style dividers were used to separate the dining area from the family/living room space.
The Watermark at 3030 Park
Esposito Design Associates, The Freshwater Group, and Construction Services of Branford
Obstacle: Working in a 40-year-old building that has fallen into disrepair offers its share of challenges. For example, upon purchasing the community, the ownership realized that a substantial portion of the budget scheduled for this project would be required to address unanticipated issues with plumbing and HVAC systems. Added to this, the original budget only included the renovation of the pool and creation of the fitness center and new café. The budget did not include the creation of the Wellness Center, SalonSpa, bank, or renovation of the auditorium.