Author: Melissa Lengies

The Perennial

Studio: ARCS 5031 – MArch 1 – Studio 1

Professors: Zachary Colbert and Suzanne Harris-Brandts

Year: Fall 2020

Project Description

The Perennial is a home and care facility designed to support a healthy, well-connected lifestyle for older citizens in the heart of downtown Ottawa. In response to the on-going public health crisis, this design also addresses the contrasting needs for safe, separable spaces as well as enhanced social connectivity. The building integrates public functions such as a cafe and daycare, seamlessly involving the lives of residents with those of other locals and age groups, while providing dedicated points of access to facilitate their isolation in case of emergency. Mezzanines and expansive windows enhance the visual connectivity within the building, providing quality views onto various activities and green spaces so that residents never feel isolated. A glass atrium with a spiral ramp connects all floors, providing natural light to the majority of the building and a sense of transparency to the community. This also enhances ease of access and wayfinding on each level with common areas organized around it. Residential units have been organized into social clusters with facing units and generous “streets” to create a more welcoming neighbourhood atmosphere, with shared gathering spaces on each level. These features encourage residents to feel more at home within their micro neighbourhoods and provide access to various forms of direct and indirect social interaction, even within the protection of the building.