Brattleboro, VT

    Photographer: Gary Hall Photography

Red Clover Commons, in Brattleboro, Vermont, built by Brattleboro Housing Partnerships and Housing Vermont, is in apartment complex for low-income elderly or disabled members of the community. This complex was a labor of love for all involved, as the apartments were designed partially in response to the flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Irene caused immense damage to Melrose Terrace, another Brattleboro Housing Partnerships site, and while those units have now been repaired and reoccupied, the organization decided that a safer area was needed for its most vulnerable residents.

Creating a sense of community was imperative, so we placed open lounges on each floor of the complex. Additionally, there is a larger gathering space on the first floor of the building, and an activity room for exercise programs and other events on the third floor. The apartments themselves have spacious kitchens and bathrooms, as well as large windows, welcoming in lots of natural light. The building is heated and cooled by a geothermal system which will drastically reduce heating costs for residents. It also features railings along the walls on all of the floors, as well as different colors and themes for each floor – to help keep the residents from becoming confused or disoriented. Every aspect of this design was deliberated over with great care to ensure that the residents have all of the necessary safety amenities while keeping the apartments feeling like homes.