Project Thumbnails

  • 170320_palmer_0081
  • 170320_palmer_0110%20%281%29
  • 170320_palmer_0032
  • 170320_palmer_0146
  • 170320_palmer_0065c

Project Summary

The apartments at Palmer Drive, New Brighton, Minnesota function as affordable townhomes for low-income seniors. With outdated interior spaces that were not compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards or the Minnesota Housing Authority regulations, the units needed a complete renovation.

A full survey of the units identified existing conditions and recorded past upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms, common areas and grounds. Beyond ADA modifications, design work on the apartments included unit-by-unit modernization at all apartments not requiring ADA modifications, design of MEP system renovations for required new work, as well as replacement of two boilers. Office areas were updated while common areas received ADA upgrades. A new community kitchen and spaces (see Design Vignette) were created at the first floor level while a new fitness center was designed for the second floor level.

In order to provide sensory aids to seniors throughout the facility, finishes were selected and organized to serve as indicators in determining floor levels within the three-story multi-unit complex. Each floor has strategically placed accent walls at elevator lobby that were also visible from the main entry stair. The flooring was utilized to indicate where dwelling unit entries were located to assist those seniors who require sensory and memory aids in locating the floor and their home dwelling unit.

All new finishes were provided at the main entrance and site upgrades included new accessible pathways at public spaces and to ADA units. Furnishings, such as sofas and lounge chairs, were selected to be higher than standard seating level making sitting and standing easier for the senior population.

New upgrades to the units, common areas, site, accessibility features, and improved wayfinding provide a substantial improvement in both private and shared amenities for the building’s tenants.


New Brighton, Minnesota


Design Vignette

New communal areas promote wellness and interaction for the building’s tenants. The newly designed ADA-compliant kitchen features brand new wood floors, finishes, appliances, and multiple open seating arrangements so that tenants can share, cook and eat together. Additionally, a new fitness center promotes physical wellness by encouraging exercise as it is readily accessible for tenants to use.