The Giffin Community will begin with the renovation of an existing historic structure in South Knoxville, Tennessee. The existing building (Building A) was an elementary school for Knox County Schools from 1928 – 1995 . It evolved from its original incarnation of a Colonial Revival building designed by locally renowned architects Barber McMurry to include an International Style addition designed by noted local modernist Bruce McCarty in 1950. Because of these architectural contributions to Knoxville’s built environment, the Giffin School building has been placed on the National and Tennessee Registers of Historic Places by the National Park Service. A stabilization phase to address the deterioration of the exterior envelope has begun construction. Red Chair has also recently completed the working drawings to renovate the interior and site development of Building A. The completion date for Building A is estimated to be completed in mid 2018.
The Building A project rehabilitates the existing structure by maintaining its historic architectural character and its school house layout. The existing major circulation is respected and the existing classrooms are subdivided into resident rooms working with the existing classroom module. In response to the National Park Services’ guidelines. The re-purposed historic structure houses a variety of living units which intend to serve independent living arrangements to assisted living units. All residents however, will have access to a variety of services which adapt the living units to be assisted living units as the residents require them. In addition to the living units, other assisted living facility amenities are provided. These include a full kitchen and dining area, including a pub for a casual gathering atmosphere. A large activity room with adjacent therapy room are adapted from the existing school gymnasium space. A self-service laundry room for the resident’s use is provided adjacent to an existing courtyard. Additionally, larger community amenities are provided in the building, including two adult day care rooms and a teaching area for skills training of the providers/staff who work in this facility as well as the larger community.
A planned detached building (Building B) is planned to the north of the existing structure. This building will house four group homes for assisted living arrangements. Some of these group homes will be specific for dementia care residents who are still ambulatory. The planning and details of these group homes will be specific for that need and will largely be self-sufficient with regards to their care arrangements, however, the amenities in the existing building will be available for use by the group home’s residents.
Red Chair Architects teamed with a newly formed development company, Woven Community , to provide design services for the Giffin Community. Woven Community was formed to create a new model of care for the aged and moderately challenged members of our communities. The care model of the Giffin Community includes the existing and new buildings on the present school site, but also includes the potential of renovating adjacent homes and providing services to meet the needs of aging and disabled members of the community. Beyond the services provided by Woven Community to Giffin Community and South Haven residents, the former school campus will once again serve as the hub of the community and as an amenity for the neighborhood at large. Giffin Community will serve our aging family members and friends as well as physically and developmentally challenged friends of all generations.