Client/Owner: City of Inglewood
Design and Architecture:
Douglas Pierson, (as Partner with (fer) studio, LLP), Youn Choi
Structural/Civil Engineer: BTM Engineering
Mechanical/Plumbing Design/Build: Hussung
Construction Manager: Peters Construction
Owner’s Representative: Scott Gregor, Buffalo Construction
Renderings: Youn Choi
The concept for the Inglewood Senior Center is informed by three design ideas: Green Space, Universal Design, and Community Engagement
Green Space: Research has well established a direct correlation between the environment and health. This is especially evident in health care facilities and assisted living residences, where green space -- an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes -- has a positive impact on the mental, psychological, and physical health of clients, visitors, and staff, whether viewed through a window or physically experienced,
With all of this mind, (fer) studio’s approach to the Inglewood Senior Center relies on a balance of built spaces and open-air green spaces, so that every interior room, public and private, is balanced by a view or direct connection with an outdoor natural garden area. This form will also provide extensive natural daylighting throughout the interior spaces, which studies also show improves mood, attention, and health, not to mention reducing the building’s energy consumption and operating costs.
Achieving this balance of built and green spaces, while maximizing the available 33,300-square-foot property, requires a two-story building, where the garden spaces are vertically integrated into the building. The building also transitions into an accessible “green,” or vegetated, rooftop. The rooftop encircles a centralized atrium garden that penetrates both stories, all the way down to the underground parking structure, bringing light, life, and health into all the interior spaces of the building.
Universal Design: Universal Design creates built environments that are inherently accessible to people with or without compromising the overall aesthetic design. For the Senior Center, the concept is a building that functions like a gradually ramping garden where indoor and outdoor experiences intermingle and accessibility is seamlessly integrated into the structure, as the core architecture, rather than simply a matter of code compliance. A few examples of Universal Design would be eliminating stairs, using levers instead of door knobs, easily opened drawers and cabinets, extra-wide doorways, and clear sight lines to reduce reliance on hearing.
Community Engagement: Evidence proves the myriad cross benefits experienced by seniors, adults, and youth when they interact with one another. The Inglewood Senior Center can be more than simply a home for the aging. It can be a center for the community and a catalyst for a better neighborhood. To that end, the design reaches out to the community with a large open, park-like front entry right on the corner. This entry would function as the Center’s “front porch” where seniors could engage with the neighborhood around them and vice versa.