Pockets of change

Submitted by digital on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 13:18
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1459863957\/rpwidywtvpwj8oslzz64.png","id":"4926"}],"caption":"Rose Villa site plan"}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1459864075\/er9mkjwpgnud339qsztl.png","id":"4931"}],"caption":"Pocket neighborhood rendering"}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1459864183\/ftcqaesav2rvgdltmjhn.png","id":"4936"}],"caption":"Rose Villa Town Center rendering"}]],"markups":[["strong"],["em"]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"Pocket gardens give retirees more outdoor access"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Rose Villa, a continuing care retirement community in Portland, Oregon that opened in 1960, was originally envisioned as an environment that provided residents a high level of access to the outdoors \u2014 an unprecedented concept at that time. Each resident had a front and back door leading to a personal yard on both sides. There were no apartments on double loaded corridors. The community soon became known for its one-story garden apartments set in lush landscaping and an overall relaxed lifestyle."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Over the next six decades, the community faced several challenges as it aged, all contributing to a decline in occupancy. Repositioning the existing land was necessary to address the issues facing this landlocked community. As the site is very steep, one-story solutions offered neither market-rate-sized units nor the precious outdoor space for which the community was known. The final solution involved utilizing the 40-foot slope of the site, along with an over\/under cottage model that created pocket gardens between each tier of residences. The stepped pocket neighborhood arrangement made maximum use of the site while maintaining open, outdoor living spaces with appealing immediate views of the pocket gardens, and extended views of the Willamette River and West Hills of Portland."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"There was a paramount directive from the community\u2019s leadership that each cottage home be provided with multiple outdoor connections. In a housing model in which the lower level is primarily retaining wall on the uphill side and the upper level is a story higher than grade on the downhill side, the compromise was an entry porch and yard at the entrance to grade, and porches organized to allow a side porch or balcony with great views to their respective pocket gardens."]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Each of the pocket neighborhoods is comprised of seven residential homes facing their respective garden. Residents are able to plant their own gardens at the at-grade entry porch, and even have the option of a pet fence as, not surprisingly, this garden community is also pet friendly. The site\u2019s comfortable pedestrian scale is a result of each two-story cottage having a one-story front at each garden. Each garden is bounded on one side by the large open green, which provides wonderful views down to the river for all to enjoy. A series of one-story, semi-detached duplex homes provide an edge for the gardens. One benefit of the original community, close social connections, is maintained through an increased level of contact in the intimate garden setting."]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,1],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Despite the significant grade changes, the pocket neighborhoods are organized to allow a low-slope, accessible walking path from the bottom of the hill up to the \u201ctown center\u201d community spaces at the highest elevation closest to the street."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Each garden is themed and provided with various amenities such as arbors, boulder seating walls, rose gardens, fire pits, and even pet drinking fountains. A multi-use pavilion structure bounding one of the gardens is available for social gatherings and events."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The investment in this project required the demolition of 100 of the community\u2019s existing cottages as well as one of the main community spaces. The pocket neighborhoods were half of the solution. The other half was more traditional loft apartments in two- and three-story buildings, of which the first floor is primarily shared community space. Still, the community\u2019s commitment to a connection to nature was the overriding design guideline. While the cottage homes are a more \u201crural\u201d solution, the apartments approach nature in a more urban way. The apartments are a good fit for residents for whom long travel distances to community spaces are undesirable, but who still seek a connection to nature."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"All of the apartments have balconies that favor the views down to the river. Each balcony can be accessed from two rooms in the residences. The apartments are located in two buildings and are organized around a Main Street town center where many of the community spaces have a street front presence in addition to internal circulation options. One of the shops along the street, Seeds, will stock and sell gardening equipment, plants, and flowers. The community will have the ability to insert temporary bollards on Main Street, close off vehicular access, and host farmers\u2019 markets, street fairs, and even food carts. To top it all off (literally), a community roof garden will be provided on an upper floor named, appropriately, The Vista Lounge."]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,2],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The ultimate goal is to replace all of the campus\u2019 263 existing units in a similar fashion to provide appropriately sized and affordably priced housing to seniors interested in staying active and having a personal day-to-day interaction with nature. The community will offer a choice of a true downtown experience or a more small-scale garden-style cottage lifestyle. The residents, however, may reap the benefits of both."]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Project Credits"]]],[3,"ul",[[[0,[0],1,"Client"],[0,[],0,": Rose Villa Senior Living - Portland, Oregon"]],[[0,[0],1,"Architect of Record"],[0,[],0,": RLPS Architects - Lancaster, Pennsylvania"]],[[0,[0],1,"Design Architect"],[0,[],0,": MGA Architects - Portland, Oregon"]],[[0,[0],1,"Landscape Architect"],[0,[],0,": Macdonald Environmental Planning \u2013 Portland, Oregon"]]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"About the Author"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Jim Mehaffey, AIA, is a senior project manager at RLPS Architects. He focuses primarily on seniors\u2019 housing and healthcare projects with responsibility for coordinating multi-disciplinary teams and guiding projects throughout all phases of planning, design and construction. Jim also provides code research and compliance reviews. He authors a design blog, Lessons Learned from the Yeoman Architect, and has served as a volunteer at the Penn State University Architecture and Landscape summer camp."]]]]}
A retirement community preserved access to the outdoors for its residents by designing pocket gardens between living units.
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Pocket neighborhood rendering at Rose Villa in Portland, Oregon
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