SCALE Aphasia Center

The firm was hired to assist a brand new non-profit agency select a site and open its first service center to improve the quality of life for people living with Aphasia and their families. The 1950’s former bank building involved a considerable effort to gut and replace a virtual “rabbit warren” of office corridors. The objective was to create a “kit of parts” model facility that could be replicated elsewhere. Post-stroke symptoms include functional cognitive, communication and mobility impairments; so it was vitally important to design a layout that is universally accessible and visually coherent. Program elements include two computer labs, four classrooms, a library, a Teaching Kitchen, a private family interview room and a “greenhouse” - particularly meaningful to stroke survivors who have no communication skills or who need a more familiar safe haven. Visual order is maintained through bulkhead height space dividers, well-positioned millwork and furniture placement to set up a rhythm of “small alcoves” gathered around a central commons. A soft palette of neutral but not colorless, tones create an atmosphere of calm. The project earned the Building Congress 2010 Award of Excellence.