Seneca Falls, New York
Lakeview Health Services
Winner of 2012 NYSAFAH Rural Development Project of the Year
Winner of 2011 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Award
In response to the ongoing need for safe, affordable housing in the Finger Lakes Region, Seneca County advocated for a new 40-unit apartment residence to be located in historic Seneca Falls, New York. Serving a mixed-population of individuals and families with limited income, the 1-and-2-bedroom units also provide those with special needs the opportunity to live in a supportive environment, near essential community services.
Taking cues from the region's agricultural architecture and the historic Seneca Knitting Mill, the building is composed of two, simple 3-story masses, orthogonally juxtaposed, and connected by a transparent glass link. The building's setback addresses the street while the L-shaped plan wraps around a south-facing, landscaped exterior courtyard.
The glass link clearly delineates the two structures, while revealing the public spaces of the entrance lobby and common lounges above. This volume serves as the building's central organizing element and provides gathering spaces for its residents.
Abundant natural light permeates the interior, and warm, natural materials contribute to a therapeutic environment. The oversized divided-lite windows echo the proportions of those found on vernacular buildings, while providing views to the courtyard and rural landscape beyond.
Importance was placed on both sustainability and affordability. The building's energy efficiency exceeds the NYS Energy Code requirements by 40 percent. In addition, the parking space requirements were reduced through a zoning variance to maximize green space and minimize impervious surfaces. The project was completed for a total construction cost of $122 per square foot.