Hotel design is a tricky architectural niche. We must find a way to appeal to a general audience, so to speak, while also connecting with individual guests, making them feel at home and special. This same technique has to be applied to senior living design, where yet another element is thrown into the mix – healthcare. This can create a mashup of home, hospitals, and hotels, which must be carefully navigated by architects and designers.

Now, we can look at this same blurring of lines – in reverse! The American Institute of Architects shares this article, Richardsonian Redux in Buffalo Renewal Project. The Richard Olmstead Complex served as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane from 1890 through the 1990’s. It was considered a state-of-the-art facility and incorporated all of the most contemporary ideas about psychiatric treatment at the time. The project includes nine of Richardson’s original stone and brick buildings, set on dozens of acres of pastoral lands.

redesigned entrance to the main building of the Richardson Olmsted Complex

Redesigned entrance to the main building of the Richardson Olmsted Complex. Source: Deborah Berke Partners via aia.org

The rehabilitation plan, “advances a mixed-use campus of public and private activities for the neighborhood, the city, the region and the world to enjoy.” Led by Deborah Burke Partners (DBP), of New York, the design plans to incorporate an 88-room hotel and convention center within the existing historic buildings, along with The Buffalo Architecture Center. The Buffalo Architecture Center’s design team will be led by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture+Design Partnership (LHSA).

Restored south entrance

The restored south entrance. Source: Joe Cascio via aia.org

LS&A looks forward to seeing how this mashup of hospital to hotel design pans out when the project is completed in 2016.