Tsomides Associates Architects Planners/TAAP, The Atrium at Cedars Retirement Community

The Atrium at Cedars Retirement Community – Portland, Maine
Tsomides Associates Architects Planners/TAAP – Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts
Type of Facility/Setting: Independent Living (on CCRC campus)

Facility Contact: Kathryn Callnan, CEO

Firm: Tsomides Associates Architects Planners/TAAP, (617) 969-4774

Design Team: Tsomides Associates Architects Planners/TAAP, Architect; Currier & Associates, Interior Designer; Land Use Consultants, Inc., Landscape Architect; C.M. Cimino, Contractor; Foley and Buhl Engineering, Inc., Structural Engineer

Photography: Jon Bonjour Photography

Resident Capacity: 61 units

Space/Resident (sq. ft.): 1,721 (gross)

Total Area (sq. ft.): 105,000 (gross)

Total Cost (excluding land): $11.4 million

Cost/Sq. Ft.: $108.57 (gross)

Completion: December 1999

The plan was organized with three apartment wings radiating around a three-story atrium to create residential-scaled building masses. The Atrium, formed by offsetting the north wing of the t-shaped plan, was located along an exterior wall and oriented north toward views of majestic pine trees. It is strategically located at the core of the typical apartment floor and ground floor commons area, to aid residents’ orientation and serve as a (focal) point of reference.

The intimately detailed and elegantly proportioned atrium space, bathed in natural light, enhances the living experience and stimulates mental alertness. Internal public circulation spaces and gallery areas are infused with daylight through glazed, borrowed-light interior partitions along the common support spaces and from the Atrium, which spatially explodes outward and upward.

The ground-floor plan leads the visitor through a sequence of spaces, drawn forward by vistas beyond. The main entry Lobby lies directly on axis with the landscaped rear courtyard. At the Lobby midpoint, the curved, glazed partition of the CafT guides one’s eyes to the right, toward the three-story Atrium beyond. From the Atrium, one is drawn to the arched Gallery, leading to the Meeting Rooms and Main Dining Room at the rear.

The Wellness Center is also accessed from the Atrium and contains an Exercise Room and a Swimming/Activities Pool with a separate Therapy Spa. It opens out onto the landscaped courtyard.

The facility is connected to the adjacent existing Nursing Center at the rear, forming a common receiving/maintenance service area. Future plans call for a connection at the front with a new Assisted Living facility. Great care was taken to preserve the natural wooded site and its wetlands.

The typical residential floor has a centrally located elevator lobby adjacent to the three-story Atrium courtyard, yet discreetly screened by a glazed partition. The modified T shape of the typical floor plan provides eight desirable corner units per floor, with windows in kitchens and dining area.

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