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  Emma's Place, Page 46Emma's Place
Donald E. Stevens, AIA, Architect, LLC 
740 NW Colorado Avenue, Bend, OR 97701

Bend, Oregon
Total Square Feet: 10,872
Construction Period: Sep 1999 to May 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Wark Construction - 9500 SW Boeckman Rd., Wilsonville, OR 97070
Structural Engineer: Tim R. Froelich Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 231 SW Scalehouse Loop, #101, Bend, OR 97702
Electrical Engineer: Heinekin Engineering Inc. - 37 NW Irving Ave., Bend, OR 97701
Mechanical Engineer: Leroy Coppedge, M.E. - 2927 Barbara St., Ashland, OR 97520
Landscape Architect: David Evans & Associates, Inc. - 709 NW Wall St., #102, Bend, OR 97701

Emma's Place is an eleven-unit apart ment building that provides affordable housing for adults suffering from mental illness. The building was developed and is managed by the Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority for the Deschutes County Department of Human Services. Funding was provided by grants through the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department and a combination grant and loan by the City of Bend, Oregon.

Central spaces include a commons room for gatherings, meetings, education, and other uses. Off of the commons room is a private conference room for counseling or personal meetings. A central laundry facility, mail facility and a management office flank the commons room. Just outside there is a fenced garden area, which may be used for socialization or to simply enjoy a private outdoor experience. The full-time on-site manager is provided with a two-bedroom apartment that includes a private balcony. This outdoor space overlooks the building entrance for security, but is also open to the sky and distant vistas.

Materials used throughout are those the Housing Authority has found to produce practical results. Vinyl siding allows the authority to keep the maintenance low therefore keeping the rent low over time. Vinyl flooring that accepts spillage is used in the units for ease of cleanup. Clients are encouraged to bring in area rugs to add warmth and personalization to their own units. Incremental electric HVAC units provide the individual temperature control and reduced the construction cost over a central unit.

The design of the building was based upon several premises, functional requirements of the developer and size determinants put forth by the State Housing and Community Services Department.

The first design premise was one of creating as much openness as possible within a palette of small spaces. Of the clients housed at Emma's Place, many fear claustrophobic conditions. This openness was accomplished through windows and glazed doors, which allow viewing into common spaces where possible, corridors with undulations at apartment entrances, skylights and maximum glazing.

It was important to create a building that fit the neighborhood. The building was articulated by the use of color, varying siding types with varying dimensions, along with wood bands' all in order to break down the overall scale. The reduction in scale allows Emma#s Place to sit comfortably among smaller residential and commercial buildings.

The concept to fit well with the neighborhood was important to accomplish because of early negative expectations of the future residents of Emma's Place.

The site is fairly small for the amount of building coverage required. Affordability and therefore economic land-use was important. The majority of the residents do not drive, so fewer parking spaces are provided on-site than are normally required for apartments. This allows for proper landscaping and open space to occur, as well as the ability to save some trees and natural rock outcropping.

A final premise is that of economics of structure and space. It was important to provide fire-rated assemblies backed by a fire suppression system and to do so with an affordable scheme. Apartments meet size guidelines set forth by the state yet are all sized to allow wheelchair access. In the future a lift could be provided to allow full second floor accessibility. Presently two units are fully accessible including lower counter heights and removable sink fronts.

Emma was a long time resident of the site and being a good neighbor it behooved the new owner to follow her lead and set a good example. The building was named for Emma with that in mind. Neighbors who were previously concerned over the proposed land use are now quite content with the clients and are very accepting of the architectural result.

Exterior Walls - Doors: Steelcraft; Windows: Phillips Products; Siding: Amcraft.
Roof - Composite Shingles:Owens Corning.
Floors - Resilient: Azrock; Floor Underlayment: Maxxon Gyp-Crete; Carpet: Krauss; VCT: Mannington.
Interior Walls - Paint: Miller.

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