In recent years the suburb of Evanston, Illinois, has become a place for real estate development. The newest development being a 17 story building for active seniors found near downtown.
This tower is 17 stories and contains 169 units. The Avidor Evanston is an apartment for people 55 years of age and older. It came to a triangular site and was made from glazed glass that makes up the shape’s perimeter. The building also has 12,000 square feet of amenities along with a rooftop deck.
When building it, the site had some challenges for the architect and developer which created the design that made it the best active adult design for 2020.
The Overall Concept
This is the third development for Avidor Living, launched in 2019 by Allegro Senior Living and High Street Residential.
Downtown Evanston is considered the center of hipsturbia, a trend that has become popular for senior housing due to the demographics, nightlife, and density that attract residents.
The Avidor communities were designed to be maintenance-free with a lock and leave lifestyle. The buildings were designed with active seniors in mind, and the residents create much of the amenities and programs. The most common amenities are a park and dog run, activity center, modern fitness center, theater, catering kitchen, demonstration chef kitchen, yoga studio, club room, pet spa, and a business center.
A significant highlight for the amenities is the rooftop deck with fire pits, unobstructed views of the city skyline, an outdoor kitchen, yard games lawn, and a pool. The residents also have a full-time activities director and private lockers. If there are seniors who still drive, there is climate-controlled indoor parking, and there is also a guest suite for visitors.
The residential units all have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, in-unit washer and dryer combos, and kitchen islands. The bedrooms come with walk-in closets and ceiling fan lighting. The bathrooms are made with built-in seating for the showers and tile floors. Each unit will have its private balcony.
The thought of energy efficiency and sustainability was kept in mind with Avidor Evanston. The building got the LEED Silver certification, and 10% of the units are affordable housing for seniors.
The Overall Construction
The site’s triangular shape made some challenges, but it also created some with a unique design according to ESG Architecture and Design.
ESG allowed the shape of the site to create the design. The top portion of the lot was made for the park, street level, and dog run. The eastern side was where bike storage and parking would be. The entrance into parking and all the building mechanicals were to be on the south portion of the site, and all of the dining rooms, bistro, mailroom, and other amenities with the entrance would be on the western side.
The result allowed the exterior to be presentable for visitors while hiding the inner workings. Glazed glass and steel help to compliment the surrounding architecture, which creates a window effect.
To make this work, ESG had to place the structural columns in certain areas to add the windows to the design.
The shape also created some challenges in designing the living spaces and common areas. However, most of that was made easier when the amenities were focused on the rooftop and ground floor.
Allegro and High Street were flexible when it came to allowing ESG to move the amenities to only two floors, which meant making some amenities outside and how to make the interior work.
The Overall Completion
The Avidor Evanston opened in June of 2020, and the management phase of the pandemic had started. Because the building had been completed and was ready to have people move in, it was too early to determine how the virus will impact any developments.
However, the development success in planning a high rise residential development in a small area was unique. Most are impressed with how ESG and High Street managed to create a unique building on an odd-shaped lot.
Most were very impressed with the amenity package on the top floor, and that takes advantage of the lines and angles of the site to allow views of downtown and the programming of Chicago and Evanston.
The site also stood out for the judges. Each judge had noted how the exterior informed them about the interior elements like the linear lighting to create a connection between the outside and the inside. The furniture for the common spaces, along with the finishes like using hard surfaces with touches of color and chairs with arms to be a wayfinding tool without standing out as being one.
This created a building that showed the modern taste of today and tomorrow for senior living that will last for a long time without needing to be replaced, unlike the more traditional multifamily areas. It was also noted that Avidor Evanston might look like a regular apartment building to someone just passing by. Still, because the residents are ages 55 and older, any amenities they have will not need to be updated as much, unlike standard apartments, and that is because of less wear and tear.
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