DELRAY BEACH, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Last week’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Conference in Orlando united the country’s leading decision makers from across the industry for innovative presentations on the best practices for building a better world. Choli Aronson, Senior Associate at Currie Sowards Aguila Architects (CSA)) in Delray Beach, addressed the hot button topic of social responsibility in architecture.
Discussing the success of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), she examined emerging issues in the affordable housing category.
“There are several topics that must be addressed in order to build the kind of affordable housing which will nurture healthy families,” explained Choli, AIA, LEED AP BD&C. “During my presentation, I discussed current housing issues including grandparents as child care providers, aging in place designs and multi-generational/multi-income communities.”
Choli spoke of the need for affordable housing units to adjust age restrictions to allow for the expanding trend of grandparents assuming the role as primary caregivers for their grandchildren. She also addressed the nature of design to enhance the elderly’s independence. And she showcased the importance of restoring the street grid to integrate affordable housing into the community while mixing multiple generation, multiple incomes and multiple housing options in one area.
Choli was encouraged by the partners at Currie Sowards Aguila Architects to serve on the Delray Beach Housing Authority, and during the Orlando conference she highlighted a successful partnership that transformed the historic LaFrance Hotel into a low income senior housing complex.
When the LaFrance opened in the late 1940’s it was the only Black-owned hotel between Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. In 2004, the Delray Beach CRA purchased the LaFrance to redevelop the property while preserving its history. CSA Architects was hired to renovate the original 3,800 SF hotel building and include a 4,000 SF addition. Now used as low-income senior housing, the complex contains eight studio units, six 1-bedroom units, laundry facilities and storage, all built around a common courtyard.
“This project exemplifies social responsibility,” said Aronson. “This redevelopment preserved an historic site, one of tremendous pride for the community, while creating much needed affordable senior housing, assuring that the older residents would have an opportunity to remain in their beloved neighborhood.”
About Currie Sowards Aguila:
Founded in 1969, the award-winning architecture firm’s bold designs have enriched communities around the globe. The team’s creative inspirations have graced cultural centers, residential communities, commercial / mixed-use developments and an array of municipal projects.
The versatile practice, known for its distinctive designs, has garnered acclaim for their singular ability to transform once utilitarian facilities into iconic structures for municipalities. From community centers to parking garages, fire stations to bridges, CSA allows design to be experienced in unexpected ways.
Their practice is augmented by the commitment of the partners to community involvement. Bob Currie, Jess Sowards and Jose Aguila have defined their legacy through their philosophy of “giving back by design and service.”
Learn more about Currie Sowards Aguila Architects at: http://www.csa-architects.com/.