Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc., Saint Mary’s Home of Erie

Saint Mary’s Home of Erie – Erie, Pennsylvania
Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc. – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Type of Facility/Setting: CCRC

Facility Contact: Sister Phyllis McCracken, MS, RN, NHA

Firm: Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc., (717) 263-8464

Design Team: Michael G. Hull, AIA, President; Theodore P. Sottong, AIA, Project Architect (Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc.); Brian Abel, PE, President (Abel Consulting Engineers, PA); Carol Johnson, President (Carol J. Designs); Dan Dahlkemper, President (Dahlkemper Landscape Architects & Contractors)

Photography: Mark Samu

Resident Capacity: 170

Space/Resident (sq. ft.): 926

Total Area (sq. ft.): 160,000

Total Cost (excluding land): $21.6 million

Cost/Sq. Ft.: $135

Completion: September 2001

When the Sisters of St. Joseph decided to expand their mission of providing quality care to active seniors in Erie, Pennsylvania, they soon realized that their aggressive program called for a very large facility. A village concept was used to reduce the imposing scale of the program and provide a residential flavor to the facility. The entire program was housed under one roof, but massing and wayfinding strategies were used that made the single building feel like a complex of residential buildings-a village.

As a result, the 160,000-sq.-ft. facility features an intimate atmosphere, rather than that of a massive housing institution. A main entrance courtyard is formed by the nursing wing, a chapel and a 74-unit assisted living facility-a space that is reminiscent of a small town square.

Upon entering the facility, visitors are greeted by an inviting reception area placed in the midst of a main lounge, snack bar, gift shop, dining, chapel and a PT/OT suite. In the nursing facility, 80 single rooms are serviced by two nursing stations and are subject to tight restrictions on traveling distances.

Two wings of three pods each are arranged around the nursing stations. Each pod is composed of 12 to 13 bright, cheerful single rooms with large windows. The pods are sized to be served by one or two nurses who have access to their own nurses’ substation, minimizing the trips to the main nurses’ station and allowing for more attention to residents.

To promote activity and interaction among residents, dining is accomplished in one sitting, necessitating large dining rooms to accommodate wheelchair seating for 80.

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