Empress Senior Living at Laurelhurst is an assisted living community that complements the surrounding neighborhood with a pedestrian-friendly street presence, all while meeting the varied operational needs of a senior living community that supports memory care. VIA’s architects and designers minimized the impact of a required entry drive and loading bay by reducing the curb cuts in width and locating them at the end of the street frontage, keeping the pedestrian entry and the bus stop free of vehicle traffic.
The use of glazed awnings provides weather protection for both visitors and the general public, including those waiting for the bus. VIA worked with King County Metro to incorporate the bus stop into the language of the building and to provide seating opportunities for transit riders. Building facades facing neighboring homes to the north are animated with a series of residentially scaled bays to blend in with adjacent neighbors. A change of color and material help to emphasize this pattern.