Windsong at Eola Hills

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The 56 unit Windsong Memory Care at Eola Hills is a classic study in form and function. This 32,000 square foot building is designed to support the special needs of residents suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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The Windsong Memory Care community practices a progressive approach towards extending seniors’ quality of life by incorporating the Montessori style of learning. The building and its exterior open living spaces, activity and sitting areas are designed to help ease feelings of confusion and disorientation while encouraging interaction and activity.

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The owner approached Lenity Architecture with a prototypical concept for a figure 8 building design. The site was ideal in the sense that it was surrounded by farmland and residential yet conveniently located for visitors and staff. However, during the site planning and feasibility phase, we found that the size of the site wasn’t conducive for the number of units intended in the original concept design.

To overcome this challenge, the building needed to become extremely efficient in its form and function. The architect divided the original figure 8 design and brought half of the building around in a different configuration. Through creative problem solving, we were able to address the site constraints and in doing so–leveraged the redesign to add beauty and interest to the exterior. The front exterior is broken up and jogs back and forth to create interest and depth. So, although the building itself is large, it feels welcoming and intimate as you approach. Additional design elements such as the combination of wood siding, stone, heavy timber and wood brackets add a rustic feeling that compliments the surrounding area.

The nature of Alzheimer’s and dementia care necessitates high security measures for resident safety. Due to the residents’ constricted access beyond their wing of the building, the quality of their outdoor spaces becomes especially significant.

To compliment the Montessori approach to teaching, private spaces were designed to reduce outside stimulation and allow for quiet one-on-one interaction with staff. Landscaped courtyards in the center of each wing allow for easy access and beautiful views throughout the building. The courtyards are designed to with the five senses in mind–an important component of the Montessori style of learning.

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The design challenge was to reduce the courtyard’s appearance of a long narrow space while maintaining the highest level of resident safety. Both courtyards provide a 5 ft. minimum wide unobstructed meandering walk for the residents to safely explore the space. The whimsical paving configuration of each courtyard consists of circular and curvilinear planters arranged to break-up the straight lines of the walled boundaries. A fountain, raised planters, seat walls and trees provide the vertical elements. Non-toxic plant materials were selected to provide texture, contrast, fragrance and floral display. The south patio provided the greatest amount of exposure for sun and contains two small covered patios at each end of the space connected by a meandering sidewalk. Prefabricated concrete manhole cones of two heights were provided as raised planters as gardening therapy for residents.

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Windsong at Eola Hill’s first resident, Don, was moved by his family from a different facility where his health was rapidly deteriorating. He had lost significant weight, was not speaking, and appeared to be in a deep depression. As the first Windsong resident, Don was given room number one–his first win of many. He is now the walking club leader and maintains a garden in the courtyard. His weight loss is reversing and he is highly engaged with the staff and residents. Don’s success is an example of the ideal marriage between form and function in that every aspect of the building is designed to allow the Montessori program, staff, and most importantly–the residents–to flourish.

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About Windsong Memory Care and the Montessori Approach 

Windsong at Eola Hills exists to help seniors and their families find harmony during otherwise trying times. The word “windsong” marries the two senses of hearing and touch–senses that since birth, we associate with reassurance and comfort. Through their core programming, which is based on the Montessori style of learning, residents are encouraged in a safe and supportive environment to explore all five senses through meaningful and familiar activities. Since opening in April of 2015, Windsong staff have already witnessed remarkable strides forward in several residents’ sense of well being and ability.

For more information about Windsong at Eola Hills, visit their website at www.windsongmemorycare.com.

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Lenity Architecture Welcomes Three New Professionals

Lenity Architecture is excited to welcome three new professionals to our team–Steve Hockman, Sam Thomas and Brittany Phipps.

Steve Hockman is joining the team as Construction Administration Manager. Steve graduated with a BA and BS in Architecture from North Dakota State University and has 28 years of architecture and construction management experience. An 11 year resident of Central Oregon, Steve will be based out of Lenity Architecture’s Bend office and traveling as needed. He is an Oregon licensed and LEED Accredited Architect with senior-level management experience in higher education, medical, airport, electric utility, large commercial architecture projects and senior housing design.

Sam Thomas will be joining the Salem office of Lenity Architecture as Project Manager. Sam brings with him an extensive background in community development and land use planning. He achieved his MA in Geography from the University of Cincinnati where he studied geographic information systems and science.

Brittany Phipps will also be joining Lenity Architecture’s Salem office. Brittany was born and raised in the construction industry and is excited to carry on the family tradition as an architectural drafter at Lenity Architecture.

Lenity Architecture is driven entirely by relationships–those we have with each other as a team and with our clients as well as genuine caring for the people who enter the walls we help build. These ideals are the common thread among our staff and the qualities we look for in each new hire. Every member of the “Lenity Family” is in this business for more than a paycheck. They are passionate about their profession, who they are serving and why. When our staff team walks in the door each morning, they know that the projects they are working on impact people’s lives. They enjoy working here because the relationships we build as a team and the values that guide us are lasting, meaningful and important.

Lenity Architecture has built a team of professionals that excel at every stage of the planning, design and building process. With a growing team of architects, engineers, designers, draftspersons, land use and permit specialists, construction administrators and administrative support staff–we are able to meet the complex and ever-evolving needs of our clients. We are always interested in meeting qualified professionals that share our people-first company values and encourage interested candidates in checking our website regularly for current openings.

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Reimagining the Project Team

The design and building industry conjures up mental images that can range from lofty corner offices with artfully placed bamboo to diesel trucks and hard hats. In our world, the images creating a divide between the design and building teams fall away and are replaced by a deeply rooted common thread–intense caring for our mutual clients.

In practical terms, this kind of caring means the architectural team works hand in hand with builders for a seamless, profitable and even fun experience for everyone. No egos–just complimentary professions working together to best meet the client’s needs.

TOP 3 BENEFITS OF A TIGHTLY KNIT PROJECT TEAM:
1. Fewer surprises. We’ve found clients are rarely excited about surprises unless it’s how much money they’re saving (or cookies).

2. An inclusive approach to planning and design means seeing the project through a different set of lenses. Understanding the project from every angle saves the entire project team (including the client) time and money.

3. A team approach necessitates flexibility and humility. Approaching each project with a spirit of willingness yields strong relationships that continue long after the project’s completion. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

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Project team at the ECLIPTIC at Sunriver

SURPRISES ARE BORN IN A VACUUM

It sounds like a science project, but unpleasant surprises result from the planning and design phase happening in a vacuum. From the early pre-planning stages to project completion–the best work results from transparency, open communication and a relationship-centered approach with the entire project team.

Our work begins by determining a project’s feasibility and providing a comprehensive cost analysis. Lenity Architecture’s in-house land use and zoning specialists determine up-front any potential system development charges and building permits. We put our pencils to work and help clients determine how a property or space will accommodate an existing program or a brilliant new idea.

By working together with the broker, contractor and developer through the early pre-planning stages, we’re demonstrating a vested interest in the project. Just like the client, we are taking on a measured element of risk at the beginning–but a shared commitment to the project yields returning clients and deep mutual trust and respect.

“Being involved early in the design process allows us to budget an idea. As a builder, there is nothing more rewarding than working side by side with the owner and architect to see a cocktail napkin sketch through to building completion. If there is a time to save money, it’s early in the design process before dollars are spent on documents. When everyone on the project team is committed to this process, we can typically make it work from a budget standpoint. We recently went through this process on a project and by working through the early pre-planning phase as a team, we were able to reduce project costs by 30% from initial budget to working budget/completed design.” -Gary North, R&H Construction

PLAN DESIGN AND BUILD TO PUT THE CLIENT FIRST

Putting the client’s needs first doesn’t always equate to a wall of design awards–but the glossiest of portfolios can’t build relationships.

From the early pre-planning phases, we work with the project team to evaluate how the project’s aesthetics impact the owner and tenant’s immediate and long-term costs. We consider usability, material lifetimes, and cost effective energy conservation measures. Exercising flexibility and humility with the contractor and developer doesn’t always mean compromise–it’s simply the ability to see the project through their eyes to arrive at the best results for the client.

Did you know the word “lenity” literally means the quality of being mild or gentle towards others? At Lenity Architecture, we strive to live up to our name and have found that a spirit of willingness, enthusiasm and respect are powerful drivers of long-term success. Decades of experience have taught us that regardless of the project size or complexity, there is great reward in seeing it through as a team.

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Hotel Interior Design–An Insider’s Perspective

by Senior Interior Designer, Andrea Fleschner of WCI, Inc.

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I design every hotel differently.

I have a method to my madness but I’m the only one that holds the key–and some days–it’s a different key! However, there are overarching principals and considerations that work together to make each of my hospitality interior design projects successful. The foundation of which is being intentional about crafting the guest experience, and working with the hotel architect to create cohesiveness between the interior and exterior design.

The one, unchanging principal of interior design is that the hotel guest should feel something when they walk into the lobby–i.e. esteemed, sophisticated, welcomed, at home. From the first impression to the overall experience, you could say hospitality design is a marriage of emotion and practicality.

We begin the process of hotel design by planning interesting elements that will create an emotional response while leading guests through the hotel. A thoughtfully designed hotel interior will have guests discovering hidden touches of home, regional artistry and originality throughout.

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The choice and placement of materials is also important in shaping the guest experience. I consider how the flooring needs to smoothly transition from material to material and pattern to pattern throughout the hotel to create flow. If the furniture is too comfortable it will likely break down sooner because of the use, so fabrics need to be durable, soft and well priced. The patterns should be timeless enough to last 5-7 years but edgy enough to be interesting. We also consider the atmosphere we want to create with lighting and whether window treatments could be fixed panel, sheers over blackout, shutters–or modern roller shades, perhaps? And the floor tiles–will they wear well? Oh, and can we get a performance data sheet on all of that?

Great Room Hampton Inn

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As you can see, every single plane is carefully considered; how will they play off of each other to create a mood, an experience, and a returning guest?

Our favorite projects are those where the architect and designers work together to welcome exterior influences through the front doors and incorporate them throughout the space–those are the projects that shine. A strong dynamic between the architect and interior designer helps make for a cohesively designed hotel inside and out.

When WCI, Inc. worked on the interior design for the Hampton Inn & Suites Vancouver, we met the Project Manager, Lee Gwyn of Lenity Architecture, at the very first meeting. This is unusual as many projects that come through our doors consist of a set of drawings from the architect accompanied by a meeting with the hotel owner. We rarely meet the architect.

After our first meeting, it was clear that Lee Gwyn had a great eye for interior detailing and wanted to be a part of the interior design process. We were thrilled! We like the balance of the two disciplines; Lee wanted to add crown molding to the vaulted ceilings and change a few lobby fabrics to more linear, masculine patterns. We added a textured wall covering with a little shimmer to add depth to those vaulted ceilings. Lee suggested some organic inspiration for the lobby carpet; We punched it up with colors. We hadn’t worked with the lighting manufacturer before, and Lee greatly influenced the selections. The decorative lighting turned out gorgeous and tied everything together–Lee’s suggestions helped develop our final, beautiful, timeless design. We’ve noticed projects that interface between the architect and/or project manager and interior designer always flow better, smoother. It’s simply the right way to design.

Hospitality design is complex and there are myriads of things to consider as we work through the design development. Every surface is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression and every member of the team plays an important part of shaping the whole.

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The project description in its entirety can be found here.

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A Year in Review

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Bringing a mission and vision statement to life is not a singular, momentous action but rather, hundreds of brushstrokes that work together to form a work of art. Transforming words on a plaque into reality for your team and clients requires perseverance and a shared enthusiasm for the values that your company holds dear.

In 2014, we took measure of the responsibilities that come with being one of Oregon’s fastest growing companies. We placed special emphasis on caring for our staff team like family, putting our clients’ needs first, and strengthening our solidarity as a team. We strived to build upon our strengths, learn from our challenges, and empower our team to ensure our clients’ success.

Pausing to reflect on our work throughout the year was like taking a step back to examine a painting’s progress. We asked the team what the highlights were and their shared enthusiasm forms a picture of the great potential 2015 has in store for Lenity Architecture and our clients. Below are a few of their highlights from the year.

“There has been a real sense of ownership in each of the departments and it seems to me people are pulling together to achieve our common goals.”

“Happy clients!”

“Issuance of the first Lenity Architecture Magazine.”

“Tremendous growth of our commercial division.”

“Climbing, striving, reaching higher.”

“The willingness of ALL of us to work together as a TEAM was the highlight for me. We’ve had a lot of
fun and exciting projects this year and they were all made possible because of the TEAM spirit that
was put forth.”

Also cited were permitting and zoning approvals that required a team effort, new clients & project types, and a key factor in our success–potlucks, flag football and treats in the kitchen!

For any company, large or small, living up to your mission and vision means rigorous dedication towards the high standards by which your company sets itself apart. It’s a way of thinking that illuminates each step and provides a guiding light when factors like an unruly economy may fog up your path.

We hope 2014 was a year of clarity, progress and success for you and your team. Merry Christmas, and may the New Year unveil more possibilities than you ever dreamed possible.

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