From windows that are a cinch to crank open, to extra-wide garages so car doors can swing wide for better access, to walkways with gentle slopes and no curbs for mobility whether on foot or in a wheelchair, the 48 new cottages designed by Bernardon Haber Holloway Architects for Kendal~Crosslands Communities have set a new benchmark in residential architecture for this leader in communities and services for older adults.
“We’re incredibly pleased by the addition of these cottages at the Kendal at Longwood campus,” said David G. Jones, Project Director with The Kendal Corporation with which Kendal~Crosslands Communities is affiliated. “When you walk into these houses you see large windows giving ample daylight, rooms with high ceilings and a flow that feels natural. But a lot of the details addressing needs residents may have over time are more subtle, like lever door handles rather than knobs, bathrooms wide enough to maneuver in with a walker or wheelchair, and blocking in the bathroom walls so that grab bars can be installed if needed.”
Extensive attention was paid to sustainability in Bernardon Haber Holloway’s design of both the buildings and the site. For example, stormwater is percolated back into the ground to recharge the aquifer, and the landscaping is drought-tolerant native plant varieties. The houses have geothermal heating and air conditioning systems which use the earth as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. The cottages are registered with the U.S. Green Building Council with the goals of LEED Gold (for the 38 single-story cottages) and LEED Silver (for the 10 cottages with basements) certifications.
“Environmental sustainability is a fundamental value of our organizations,” said Jones about The Kendal Corporation and Kendal~Crosslands Communities, whose principles are governed in accordance with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
“It’s quite a hilly site,” said Dr. Timothy Cassidy, Bernardon Haber Holloway’s landscape architect for the project. “We had to do extensive regrading, filling in low spots and cutting down others so that the road and the walkways all fit within the Americans with Disabilities Act’s accessibility specifications.”
The cottages are sited in the rolling terrain so that each one has natural vistas rather than views of adjacent houses, while their overall arrangement has the comfortable feel of a neighborhood. Physical activity is encouraged by seamless, stepless pathways to the community’s activities center.
Five different floor plans range from 1,250 square feet to 3,775 square feet for those with walk-out basements. All have a three-season room, an open-plan kitchen, nine- and ten-foot ceilings, and a garage. Additional sustainability features include high- efficiency appliances, lighting, windows and water heating, and plumbing fixtures that achieve 25 to 30 percent water savings beyond U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.