Quincy, MA – For more than 25 years, South Cove Manor has operated a nursing home near Boston’s Chinatown that serves the local Chinese community. This special place focuses on maintaining the connection between residents and their rich cultural history, language, and culinary traditions. To meet the growing aging population of many cultures and ethnicities, South Cove required more space, and commissioned an architectural design for a new, larger 88,000sf, 141-bed, facility at Quincy Point.
Levi + Wong Design Associates, Inc. is serving as architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and planners on the new South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The design team also includes Odeh Engineers, Rhode Island based structural engineers; SED Associates, MEP/FP Engineers of Boston, and Ripman Lighting Consultants.
As the project’s construction manager, Suffolk Construction led and managed the design and construction integration process after it received the BIM model from the design team. For several months at the project’s outset, Suffolk chaired weekly meetings with selected subs and the design team in its BIM Theater. Most of the coordination was among the MEP subs and MEP engineers, with the architect and structural engineer accommodating minor adjustments. The Navisworks platform provides the entire design team access to weekly contractor meetings.
Its design philosophy is one based on patient centered and evidence based design care models that create caregiving environments to encourage independence, mobility, and personal relationships, and reduce emotional and physical barriers. Levi + Wong Design demonstrated this throughout the building’s architectural and interior imagery that thoughtfully links Chinese and Asian cultures to modern American architectural and interior design.
The architecture and interiors are embedded with “lucky” motifs and other auspicious imagery that pervades the Asian (primarily Chinese) daily life. The building’s entry and exterior shape is not a static box but is curved. The Washington Street façade is a nod to the lion that summons luck and good fortune. The columns at the building entrance are painted red symbolizing joy and good fortune. Facades are composed as strokes in Chinese calligraphy.
The lower employee entrance level represents the importance of the ‘Marketplace’ with lively images of outdoor social life anchored by an agrarian landscape with photographs of residents’ ancestors and areas of origin. The first floor’s public entrance level is the ‘Ancestor’s’ floor, highlighted by family hall, a Gallery of Veneration, a glass lined conference room, and a tearoom, each with imagery of blessings, good fortune, and longevity. Re-interpreted Chinese lattices are used throughout the interiors as spatial dividers and accents.
The South Cove Manor’s three upper floors each house one nursing unit, each of which has been subdivided into two smaller “neighborhoods”. These sub nursing units have an “interior court” – a combination living, activity, and dining room – that mimic traditional “siheyuan” residential courtyards, and encourages residents to venture from the isolation of their bedrooms to socialize and participate in daily activities. These courts provide generous walking paths, local activity/dining areas, and welcoming public spaces, and give residents many choices. This new, emerging “open social” senior care floor plan is the first of its kind in the Quincy and South Shore area.
To ensure a smooth design and construction process, the design team worked almost exclusively in 3D Virtual Design – Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. The team’s advanced BIM processes created a virtual 3D building, including all infrastructure systems. This method helped to resolve issues during design, which are normally found during construction, thereby reducing design conflicts, budgeting, and scheduling problems.
South Cove Manor and Rehabilitation Center at Quincy Point will open in April 2014.