ST. LOUIS ARC OFFICE AND COMMUNITY CENTER, Creve Couer, Mo.
Lighting was a tremendous tool in transforming the space. Softer illumination levels and “edges” of light were diffused throughout the space through high ceiling fixtures; recessed task and area lighting and pendant lighting create scale; pools of light are utilized for conversation groups; and task lighting was inserted for various activities in the kitchenette, in front of a computer or ambient light for watching TV together. Circular light fixtures complete the lighting package, echoing the cylinders that wrap pillars and help define spaces and soften edges.
Acoustics were important in establishing discrete areas in what was essentially one large space. Ceiling tiles, dropped ceilings, softer wall/ surface coverings, and vinyl flooring help contain and channel the sound.
From an energy-consumption, sustainability and accessibility standpoint, lighting is all LED and all materials are low VOC. Surfaces, particularly in the kitchenette, resist staining, scratching and are built to accommodate community members with varying mobility issues, including those in wheelchairs.
The following is a sampling of materials used in the project:
- ACOUSTIC CEILING TILES: Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions
- CARPET TILE: Patcraft
- LUXURY VINYL TILE: Patcraft and Mannington Commercial
- RUBBER BASE: Johnsonite
- TRANSITION STRIP: Schluter Systems
- PAINT: Sherwin-Williams
- WALLCOVERINGS: Versa, Arc-Com and Koroseal
- ARCHITECTURAL FINISH: 3M DI-NOC
- LAMINATE: Formica and Wilsonart
- SOLID SURFACE: Corian and Heartland Collection
- QUARTZ: Cambria
- PORCELAIN TILE: American Olean and Daltile
- GROUT: Mapei
- GLASS ACCENT WALL: 3form
- WINDOW FILM: Infinite Optics
- WINDOW SHADES: SWF Contract
- LIGHTING: Focal Point, Lumetta, G Lighting, Lithonia and Studio M
The team envisioned an inclusive space that empowers the organization’s growing population of aging adults, approximately aged 40 into their 70s, with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live better and more meaningful lives. The primary design challenge was determining how to transform the 6,000-square-foot interior of a sterile cinderblock building, which hadn’t been renovated in more than 40 years, into a space that enables the organization to support a person-centered, coordinated-care approach through smaller group settings and meaningful activities.
Since opening the community center, St. Louis Arc representatives have seen an uptick in staff satisfaction and participation and consider the space a powerful tool in recruiting and retaining long-term jobs.
The community center is significant to St. Louis Arc’s strategic plan of increasing its capacity and expertise to offer more inclusive educational, recreational and medical-care opportunities for transition-age adults and their families. The multifunctional space now is offered as a learning and support service for any seniors with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the St. Louis area.
PHOTOS: Joshua Bishop Photography