Project: Veranda Urbanism:

Community Design and Aging in Place, Good Shepherd Ecumenical Retirement Community

Client: Good Shepherd Ecumenical Retirement Center–Col. Terry Hypes (CEO); Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Architect: University of Arkansas (UA) Community Design Center–Stephen Luoni (director); Aaron Gabriel (assistant director); Tim deNoble (project architect); Laura Chioldi, Alan Noah-Navarro, Justin Sabatini, Jena Rimkus (project designers); Roberto Sangalli (network administrator); Amy Marbury (administrative assistant); Jeff Shannon (dean, UA School of Architecture); Dusty Graham, Najia Hashim, John Langam, Trinity Simmons (student interns)

Consultants: Pyatok Associates–Michael Pyatok (programming and feasibility study); UA Center for Business and Economic Research

A hilly, forested property on a lake in Little Rock, Ark., surrounded by suburban residential developments.

The addition of 1,000–1,200 units of affordable retirement housing, and commercial and recreational centers to an existing full-service care facility.

The Good Shepherd Ecumenical Retirement Community strives to make aging in place a holistic experience, characterized by social interaction. The architects developed a series of housing prototypes to suit different resident demographics, from active empty-nesters to octogenarians. For residents who need regular or continuous care, there are units following the same typologies as those for more able inhabitants but that also offer easy accessibility by full-time medical staff .

Each unit, regardless of target audience or price range, incorporates an outdoor space–be it a porch, balcony, or patio–along a pedestrian walkway. Traffic is limited to certain arterial streets, reserving as many others as possible for pedestrians.

Pocket green spaces and gardens encourage activity and interaction among the residents. A commercial center and an esplanade along the lakefront promote people watching, window shopping, and more rigorous activities along an exercise route.

The Architect

Firm: University of Arkansas Community Design Center, Fayetteville, Ark.

Principals: Aaron Gabriel, Jeff Shannon, Stephen Luoni

Employees: 7

Year Founded: 1995

Recent Work: Habitat Trails, Rogers, Ark.; Codes and Plans for an Arkansas Delta Community, Monticello, Ark.; Riparian Meadows, Mounds, and Rooms: A Greenway for Warren, Arkansas, Warren, Ark.