Nature-inspired design emphasizes beauty with age. With our increasingly visual world, it is important architects and designers connect places to purpose as organically as possible. The core design for the Institute on Aging Headquarters was inspired by the growth rings of a mature tree, reflecting the beauty and wisdom that comes with age. This design recognizes the Headquarters not only as an important space, but as a transformative one, too.

The Center provides a strong sense of orientation and encourages interaction between seniors and Institute on Aging staff. As a Senior Health Center, one can get comprehensive health care services (PACE) in one location. Clinical, community service, an outreach program, transitional housing, and administrative functions are all on the first three floors of this new building.

The Design was based on two concepts: First, Institute on Aging serves its communities and beyond; that main principle implies a “ripple effect” of their reach and services. Leading with that characteristic as a design theme, Tsang Architecture drew inspiration from the rings of concentric circles spaces. Second, Institute on Aging cares for their clients holistically. The services are in three levels and must be connected, inspiring Tsang Architecture to create the “Tree of Life” Stairway, faced with mosaic tiles depicting all four seasons and day and night scenes on the wall. 

The site is deep and compact with not much street frontage and daylight. Tsang Architecture grouped the appropriate functions and services on two floors around a new 60 ft x 60 ft outdoor courtyard in the middle of the site to capture natural daylight. A two story atrium with a glass canopy at the entry leads people into the Institute on Aging Headquarters and directs them to the central outdoor courtyard, a way finding landmark on the site. 

Seniors discharged by medical facilities can enroll in the 50 apartments in the building to receive care and rehabilitation prior to going home. 

“The new Senior Campus will provide excellent space for IOA’s health care services, including a new Geriatric Consultation Clinic, an Alzheimer’s Care unit and a fitness and rehabilitation center. The auditorium and conference rooms will find use in educational activities for clients, staff, residents and health professionals in the community. Our Senior Campus can serve as a model on how communities can integrate healthcare and housing for those with modest income.”  -Dr. David Werdegai

This project was completed by Ignatius Tsang while Principal In Charge at Tsang Architecture