Behind stately, curved Southern-style porch and stone-clad walls lies LIHTC senior housing – 80 units owned by the Housing Authority of DeKalb County, completed in 2017 and designed lovingly by Corcoran-Ota. It’s called, fittingly, The Retreat.
This large-scale residence is, among other unique features, the recipient of a rare architectural do-over. Corcoran-Ota was initially contracted to create just construction documents for the building, but quickly found that the plans drawn by another architecture firm were out of budget for the property’s owner. We came on board to make it work – and to make a fitting home for the DeKalb seniors who would soon call it theirs.
“We spent a good bit more time thinking about the modeling of the building to make it great,” says COG Principal Michael Corcoran. “As great as it could possibly be, within the owner’s budget.”
To control costs and open up space for grand aesthetic touches, we reduced by half the number of steel beams and columns, ensuring the mostly wood construction’s walls “stacked” efficiently. We also assessed spaces for realistic usage – eliminating oversized storage closets and other unnecessary circulation areas not needed for this type of building. This value-engineering left us with an efficient design and leeway to add a few extra-special features, all while working within the building’s originally planned footprint.