Buildings Form Spaces
“The prime ingredient of urbanism is really great public space and the public realm. So the urban plan comes first and the building second.”
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That adage applies to individual buildings. They should remain “humble enough” to not overshadow the great spaces that they form. They should not be ostentatious, but should serve as the fabric – the walls of the outdoor spaces.
The Charter of the New Urbanism says that “Individual architecture projects should be seamlessly linked to their surroundings. This issue transcends style.” The Charter also states that "Urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design."
My business partner’s old boss, Walt Disney, said that if the buildings are the “bricks”, then Area Development is the “mortar” that holds them all together. That’s why he always insisted on the landscape architect driving the plan. In Walt’s way of thinking, everything outside of the walls of the building was the domain of landscape architecture.
Then, there’s the whole idea of “animating the urbanism” and making it interesting. Think about walking along a place with an active building face – shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, etc. It isn’t just about the quarter-mile walkability radius, it’s about making the walk enjoyable.
Author Dhiru Thadani says that “public space is the umbrella for placemaking”. And placemaking creates value. You want to create memorable spaces rather than undifferentiated monotony.
So here’s another Great Idea that the New Urbanism provides for Senior Living: The Public Realm and Architecture that Knows its Place. Focus on getting that right, introducing a high-quality experience, and creating memorable outdoor spaces. When you do that, you will indeed create value, reap higher returns, and enhance wellbeing.
Baby Boomers Don’t fit the Profile – They’re not like their parents. Providers are shifting to a lifestyle centered around entertainment, leisure, and wellness in order to remain relevant to the new market. We believe that a lot can be learned from the New Urbanism about enhancing wellbeing for tomorrow’s seniors. This is the 5th in a 7-part series highlighting Great Ideas for the Aging Services Industry from the principles of New Urbanism.
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Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
How can we help you maximize your potential in the marketplace? We'd like to learn more about how we can help you achieve great things - whether that involves planning new construction, making repairs or renovations, or completely re-positioning your product offering.