September B Learning Lunch with B Local PDX
September 26th, 2019 at Ecotrust
Beyond ADA - Universal Design for Business, a Case Study
For the September B Learning Lunch, we heard from Joe Wykowski and Eric Brill of Community Vision Inc. and Bill Bailey and David Donaldson of Waterleaf Architecture and their mission to create a barrier-free environment with the Seven Corners Building.
Community Vision is an agency that has grown over the years to respond to the needs of the community they serve. The programs they offer include supported living and employment, housing, financial programs, and an Assisted Technology Lab. They originally helped a smaller group of people, but saw the growing need to keep helping. Their old building had accessibility issues and added physical barriers to the community they were trying to help. Land donation and donor campaigns made it possible for them to have a building that was universally designed-both physically and programmatically.
Community Vision worked with Waterleaf Architecture to complete the building. Waterleaf Architecture is a local B Corp business based in downtown Portland. Waterleaf provides architectural design, planning, and interiors expertise for commercial, transit, community, winery, higher education, health care, and residential clients. Waterleaf is an expert in the design and implementation of barrier-free environments and Community Vision is an expert in supporting independent living for people with disabilities. They worked together to build the design and support their mission. Universal Design is equity and inclusion in the physical environment and includes pathway inclusion and integration of accessibility and beyond accommodation into social justice.
Getting the property ready for a building presented some challenges though working with a brown-field site, historic landmarks review, division street corridor, height limitation, and efficiency in a triangle lot. The building is a shared location of supporting mission agencies and has an accessible location for clients, partners, and workforce. The space has gender-neutral and accessible bathrooms, elevators with buttons near the floor, and space in both for support and oversized mobility devices. The stairs are wide and in case of emergency and there is equipment to help evacuate people with disabilities. There is an Assisted Technology Lab. Nossa Familia, a local B Corp coffee shop, is the only for-profit organization within the building. Their Seven Corners location goes beyond ADA to be accessible.
Download the pdf presentation to see more photos!