Architects Alaska undertook the design of the innovative Seward Mountain Haven facility, a residential longterm care facility for elders, which was deeply influenced by the “Green House Project” program. This guiding philosophy focuses on reimagining long-term care facilities as genuine homes for elder residents, creating spaces that nurture and elevate their quality of life, destigmatizing aging and offering dignity for elders. Spread across a challenging 6.5-acre site characterized by its steep terrain, the project features four homes, each designed for ten elders. These units are designed to provide individualized care and comfort, with each resident having a private room and bath. Central to these living quarters is a “great room,” complete with a fireplace, a communal dining table, and a kitchen open to the residents. Support spaces are integrated seamlessly, furthering the homely ambiance.
Supplementing the residential units is a Central Commons Building, acting as the heart of the community. This hub encompasses a variety of essential amenities, from General Stores, Delivery, Housekeeping, and Laundry Services to more specialized areas like a Chapel, Physical Therapy, and Administrative spaces. Its location was meticulously chosen to shield residents from winter winds while maximizing views and solar gain for primary living spaces.
Ensuring accessibility across the hilly landscape of Seward Mountain Haven posed one of the most significant challenges. The design team meticulously sculpted the site, allowing ADA-compliant pathways, managing stormwater drainage, and ensuring smooth vehicular and pedestrian access. Moreover, the positioning of the “houses” was strategic: they feature garden plazas optimized for solar access and picturesque views. In essence, Seward Mountain Haven exemplifies a thoughtful blending of architecture and nature, always prioritizing residents’ well-being and sense of belonging.