ALDER HOUSE RENOVATION
Situated along the bustling streets of Downtown Portland, the Sam Galbreath Alder House improves the neighborhood’s diversity and affordability by providing a mix of affordable and permanent supportive housing with ground-floor resident support and service space. The apartments consist of one 1-bedroom, 100 enhanced SRO apartments, and 30 studio apartments dedicated to permanent supportive housing.
ORGANIZING SPACES FOR SAFETY AND COMFORT
Prioritizing safety and comfort for residents, MWA organized the common areas to expand the resident support spaces. As residents enter the building, there are two layers of secure doors that provide a protected transition from the exterior. Once inside, an active circulation hub with mail and support services welcomes residents into the building.
Continuing past the entry, residents are led to the ground floor community space. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer ample daylighting and views, while graphic decals add an element of privacy between the community room and the public sidewalk.
INTEGRATING TRAUMA-INFORMED DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Within the context of affordable and permanent supportive housing, MWA thoughtfully implements Trauma-Informed Design Principles to create homes where residents feel safe and comfortable. To offer residents both indoor and outdoor options, designers expanded the second-floor common area to utilize an exterior communal deck. By providing multiple community spaces of various sizes, we empower residents to choose their level of interaction with their neighbors.
With trauma-informed design in mind, MWA incorporated seating into the laundry room. This simple addition provides residents with a space to wait for their laundry, giving them a sense of control and security over their belongings.
IMPROVING THE RESIDENT EXPERIENCE THROUGH DESIGN
Enhancing resident independence, MWA added bathroom sinks within 30 of the apartments and permanent cooktops throughout.
The design team installed functional upgrades throughout the building, including new flooring, cabinetry, appliances, windows, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and mechanical upgrades.
UPGRADING MATERIALS FOR A COHESIVE AESTHETIC
The original exterior design consisted of brick veneer and Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) applied in a decorative post-modern style. MWA maintained the overall massing composition and focused on refining the ground floor and cornice building lines. MWA increased the visual connection with the street at the lobby and community spaces and defined the entry with expanded canopy areas. Designers coordinated the color of the new exterior materials with the existing brick veneer to revamp the aesthetic of the building while providing overall cohesiveness.