APD recently completed the building and site designs for the Veterans Outreach Center Richards House Campus Renovation on South Avenue in Rochester NY. This project involved 2 buildings on the campus and includes removing the Carriage House while modernizing and adding to the residential building. The current office space is an historic building that is not optimally laid out. The dorm next door is large but does not allow enough private space for its residents.
The challenge is to modernize and convert the uses of each of the buildings with as little disruption to the residents as possible. The end result will produce more efficient office space, more comfortable and relaxing living space, better Resident Assistant lodging, as well as room for a greater number of residents.
The total number of beds will be increased from 28 to 46. The beds also migrate from a dormitory set-up to single- and double-bed rooms to allow for increased resident privacy. The existing living space is expanded by providing a small living room space on each of the upper two floors while maintaining the existing living space on the first floor. The existing dining room on the first floor is completely renovated while the kitchen space is doubled to allow more flexibility in the preparation and storage of food.
The building expansion moves the main entrance to the north side of the site allowing better access to the parking field. This creates a challenge due to a difference in the two building finish floor elevations and the parking lot grades. The design lowers the parking lot approximately 2′, provides adequate ADA access, and replaces most of the existing retaining walls. The existing courtyard is located within the expansion area and had to be removed. The project includes an upgraded courtyard between the Richards House and adjacent Otto house. While the two facilities are separate (and Otto House isn’t included within the project) residents from both buildings will be able to use this courtyard for programs and personal use. This will create a more open and welcoming campus atmosphere for the residents.