Community Service Project – The Alliance
By LuAnne Silvia, ASID
Our American Society of Interior Designer's Community Service Committee is currently working on another exciting project with Aeon. Our current members are Lisa Ball of Design by Lisa, Megan Hoye of Studio 2030, Cindy Lehner Smith, Rachel Meyer and Margaret Thompson of Designmark.
The existing Alliance Apartments is a community of single men and women who are choosing to live in a safe, supportive, sober environment. The housing program goals are to provide a stable environment that residents will have the opportunity to increase stability, improve their skill set, gain independence and self determination. The program has been so successful there is a waiting list to become a resident. The new project consists of adding two buildings. Relocating an existing 100+ year old brick building from the neighborhood, and a new addition. Aeon approached ASID to update the existing building and help all three buildings feel like one community.
The biggest puzzle to this design problem is to consider how to let each individual building have it's own personality and feel like an equal space within the complex. There was a great concern over having the spaces feel like the "new" spaces and the the "old" spaces. We also want to continue the direction set by the architect on the project.
The original Alliance building is in need of an update and to add personality to make it feel welcoming. There are lots of specific areas that need addressing. One idea we are working on is addressing the entry. The high ceiling presents a challenge to not have the space feel intimidating. To define a comfortable gathering area within the space and create an immediate welcoming impact upon entering, we are proposing to drop a floating ceiling over the waiting area to create a cozy place to gather.
I hope to share more details about our progress in the future, stay tuned to see how this project turns out.