Ottawa Construction News special feature
IBI Group has applied its expertise in complicated urban design and a special focus on seniors’ care in developing the All Seniors Care Living Centre complex, part of the 800 Montreal Rd. development site, now renamed 380 Le Boutillier Ave.
The project, designed by IBI Group and constructed by Pomerleau, will have seven above-ground storeys and include 180 suites, 96 for independent living and 84 designed as part of a care facility.
IBI Group director Brian Sickle says the project has been designed with aging-in-place in mind, allowing residents the opportunity to stay in a familiar environment, even after their needs change.
IBI has developed an expertise in developing this kind of residence. The firm works directly with All Seniors Capital Care Ltd. and is currently developing eight other projects across the country for the company, including three others at various stages in Ottawa.
“All Seniors’ has been very successful in the marketplace,” he said. “Part of our job is to match the operation and style of each facility with the All Seniors’ model and to ensure each is consistent in quality and operational functionality.”
In this he says IBI is pleased to be working with Pomerleau on several projects. “These are sophisticated buildings with high levels of accessibility and high standards for interior and exterior finishes. Pomerleau is responsible, they are good at what they do, and they understand what must be achieved.”
For its part, Sickle says IBI must understand each site’s unique aspects and create designs that fit within the context, aligning with the client’s objectives. For the eastern Ottawa site, a prominent location in the city and part of a larger redevelopment concept, the design had to include both the city and client’s urbanization vision.
“The design itself is fairly sophisticated,” he said. “It is an L-shape, comprised of brick and enriched with stone, conditioned by three towers holding down each corner. A strong base pulls the whole building together.”
A prominent façade along Montreal Rd. helps to reinforce the edge of the busy street, something he says both the city and client wanted, while the L-shape allows for a nicely landscaped parking and drop-off area off the street, as well as a protected oasis for tenants.
Within the building, finishes, colours and other design elements come together to create the feel of a small, luxury hotel. Sickle says the goal of creating a warm and rich home environment for the residents includes a beautiful dining area served by a full kitchen, a lounge, spa, swimming pool and an interior garden and gazebo. A colonnade type walk along the side street allows residents a circular walking path while keeping them away from the main street.
“Each floor in the care wing is self-contained with its own dining and living spaces and a broad walk-out terrace to allow residents safe and sheltered access to the outdoors.”
While the care wing is fully care oriented, the same warm finishings and colours carry through here as well, eliminating an institutional feel and maintaining the sense of home.
The ground level garden has been filled with native trees and shrubs, bioswails and will use groundwater for irrigation in keeping with the project’s overall focus on sustainable design and energy efficiency.
Sickle says this project is unique to Ottawa and to the Montreal Rd. area for its location and design, yet in function it is similar to projects under construction by the same team in the city’s Chapel Hill area. “We’re also moving forward on a custom-designed memory care facility on Eagleson Rd. for our client.”
He says that project will include 74 suites and six courtyards and be designed specifically for residents with memory care needs.
“Our firm has a unique interest in this kind of project. Senior’s care is an under-served market. Facilities designed under this model require a lot more attention than a conventional office or residence because the needs of the residents are greater, the overall feel and sense of community are much more important.”
With both the Montreal Rd. and Eagleson Rd. projects, Sickle says IBI has had the opportunity to work with the City of Ottawa’s urban design renewal panel. “The meetings were helpful in establishing a dialogue about senior care issues. We found the panel to be supportive and offered great ideas and direction.”
Sickle says as the market evolves and the industry’s deep-thinkers consider the environment quality, design challenges continue to evolve and grow and IBI is prepared to fulfill that need.
He says the Toronto-based firm can undertake large projects across the country, lending its expertise in interior design, civil and traffic engineering to achieve project successes.