Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: ThedaCare Community Health Network
Contractor: The Boldt Company
This large one-story nursing home uses the traditional local wood-frame house form to break down the scale of the building and create a facility for 40 residents with an intimate residential character. Located on a rural/suburban field on the edge of a small town filled with historic homes, the nursing home includes a memory care wing, a wing for more active residents, a visitors and administration wing, and a dining, kitchen and support services wing. Resident rooms, living and dining spaces and the entry lobby are expressed as white steep-pitch gabled houses with dark roofs and double-hung windows. These “houses” help make the facility look “like home” and are connect by a flat-roofed building containing all services and circulation. White picket fences, which are common in the area, allow residents to spend time outdoors in a controlled environment. A series of carefully configured courtyards can be used by residents and viewed from interior circulation spaces. Major interiors spaces, such as the as dining spaces, living rooms and the entry lobby, have cathedral ceilings up into the gabled roofs, with exposed white-washed wood trusses and decking. An orange clay brick, identical to that found in the old local houses, was used for the fireplaces of the living rooms, recalling the powerful memory of the hearth as a symbol of home.
Jury Comments: “This project is a lovely response to the program for the building and its context in the community. The architect applied a very thoughtful and refined version of the architectural vernacular in the area to a very large project. The refinement carries through to the careful detailing of the simplest things, including the selection of materials and items like the gutters and the size of the windows. The architect focused on the end user and the end users’ needs. ‘Dignity’ is the word that best describes this project.”