Sheltering Arms Senior Services Center
Location: Houston, TX
Year Completed: 2001
The Sheltering Arms Senior Services facility houses three functions: the administrative offices of Sheltering Arms, a state-of-theart Adult Day Center for those affected with memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and a Training Center to accommodate the educational mission of the organization. The driving force of the architecture was the dichotomy of creating a frugal facility for a non-profit organization, and at the same time
projecting an image of permanence and quality that would be acceptable to the families
relinquishing the care of their loved one. The economy of the building does not sacrifice
design or sensitivity to the human needs of the users. The compact building envelope
is composed of exterior masonry walls with limited, but effective, use of glass.
All-Glass walls with exterior shading devises, are used for emphasis and to expand views at special areas. The design provides the users multi-level views of the adjacent park, exterior balconies, quiet contemplative areas, and covered parking. The Adult Day Center users are housed on the first level of the facility in a
pleasant, non-institutional, environment with a variety of activity areas specially designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
The compact building form creates efficiency and economy of interior space without
sacrificing views to the outdoors. The interior of the building minimizes corridors, provides for shared common spaces between departments, and allows for multiplicity of use of spaces at peak periods to minimize the total required area. The top level houses a “Quiet Room” gallery, a contemplative space specially created for the Sheltering Arms staff as a place for relief from the stress of care giving.
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