Groundbreaking for The Village at Anderson Creek was attended by Mayor Jack Froese and many Township of Langley councillors as well as Isobel Mackenzie of the Office of the Seniors Advocate and 140+ others. The Village on Anderson Creek is a 75-unit Alzheimer and Dementia Care Facility, located in the Township of Langley on the eastern edge of the Metro Vancouver Area.
In the last 20 years, with the adoption of the decentralized household model, there has been a great improvement in the quality of life for residents in licensed care facilities in British Columbia. Functionally and organizationally the project expands on the operational principles and efficiencies of the decentralized household model, but departs from it architecturally through the design of the interior and exterior spaces and their relationship to each other.
In respecting the character and scale of the immediate neighborhood the resident buildings are limited to 1-1/2 storeys. The households are designed as a cluster of cottages that enclose common spaces that open up to the exterior. Two households of 12 and 13 residents form a duplex which share a spa, administration, and services spaces such as laundry and mechanical rooms. Each household has a series of common spaces that are spatially linked, but are scaled so the residents can find their own cozy space.
The activity room can be closed off with a movable partition wall. All of the spaces face and open to the outdoors and a covered patio. Solarium/TV room is separated from the main space for sound and is located close to the main boulevard, so the residents that prefer to stay inside can still feel close to the activity outside. There is an open concept kitchen in each household to allow the residents to take part in the preparation of meals. Also the aromas of food are known to trigger memories and give a sense of time and rhythm of the day for the residents. Skylights located above the lounge and dining area to allow the sun to move across the interior, helping residents to see the sky which can give them a sense of time.
The internal circulation and private outdoor space path of the households are designed as loops to allow for wandering. There are no dead-end corridors, which are known to cause anxiety for people with dementia.
The cottages are enclosed in a large park-like setting with a variety of paths, gardens, and outdoor spaces scaled to suit a variety of activities for single persons or groups of people throughout the seasons. There is a community building that houses shops, art and wood working workshop areas, a barbershop and spa which the residents are free to visit as if they would go to their local town center. The community building is also open to the public to create a continuity to the surrounding neighborhood.
The hope is the setting of the Village on Anderson Creek will allow for a holistic approach to care for and enrich the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer and dementia. The project is designed to meet licensing requirements to create a safe and healthy environment for the residents. We hope the diversity of spaces and programs will bring the right amount of stimulation, excitement, and most of all a sense of independence and purpose to the residents, which we often take for granted as we go about our normal lives. Furthermore, as we look into the future of our aging society the hope is there will be a lesson learned from this project, that in the near future we will be able to strategically locate the necessary facilities and services to where people live to allow them to age in place.
“…consideration for people with dementia always came first. We’ve set the stage for healthy and stimulating interactions between residents, staff, family members and visitors.”
Eitaro Hirota – Lead Project Architect