Projects: Senior Housing and Healthcare Facilities

Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph Residential Community
Hamburg, New York


RGR Landscape (RGR) is working with Perkins Eastman on a new motherhouse for the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph on a 9-acre site, in upstate New York. The new facility, which is located just west of Buffalo, will provide an age-in-place environment and long-term care center for 80 members of an order of elderly and aging Catholic nuns. It replaces a 70 year old convent and mother house, which had grown cumbersome, expensive to maintain, and was not accessible for those sisters with movement and physical impairments. The new mother house is approximately 100,000 sq ft and provides 40 long-term care beds, four local communities of 8 sisters each, a chapel, library, order administrative offices, a heritage room, new kitchen and dining facilities as well as multi-purpose space on a site immediately across the road from the existing motherhouse. The design is based on mainly one-story living, accessibility, and meaningful outdoor areas for walking, leisure and contemplation. The building is designed to create a series of courtyards to provide a variety of outdoor environments and enable different kinds of outdoor activity and use. The landscape plan has been developed to create unique exterior spaces within a unified composition of landscape elements and plantings. One of the goals for this project is to maximize sustainability and the project has been registered for LEED certification with the hope of attaining LEED Platinum status. The plan includes natural drainage systems, native drought-tolerant plants, and landscape elements to moderate microclimate through natural shading and the use of light-colored materials for all pedestrian paving. An important feature of the site is a central courtyard that adjoins the chapel and includes a new grotto, composed in natural bluestone, and a sitting area designed as a woodland garden for worship, reflection, and meditation.

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