After a decade in which the United States found itself involved in two overseas wars, the need to take care of our retired and wounded soldiers continues to be a paramount responsibility. While the idea of a veterans’ home dates from the early 19th Century, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has recognized the need to establish a model of care for the 21st Century — a facility in which older veterans receive the skilled nursing attention they need in a supportive and comfortable community environment. With that in mind, CB Two Architects, in collaboration with NBBJ Architecture, has designed a new type of veterans’ home based on the “small-house” concept and the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers design guide.
This 154-bed facility, which broke ground in October 2012, will offer all of the amenities of a typical skilled nursing facility, set within a 12-acre campus environment that emphasizes independence and interpersonal connections. This park-like campus will contain four “neighborhoods,” clusters of small residential buildings connected by a spine of shared program space. A central community building will contain all administration offices, as well as a bistro, a physical therapy center, a large activity room and adjacent lounge, a chapel and library, staff lounges and lockers, as well as other supporting spaces. Everything residents need will be available on the campus, set amongst tree lined pedestrian paths and courtyards.
As the men and women of our Armed Forces age, the need for continuing care will be a progressive necessity. This new design emphasizes the value of the natural environment, a neighborhood atmosphere, and the independence of each resident while providing the highest level of skilled-nursing and memory care.