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In only 2400 square feet on a compact Arlington lot, Architect Bruce Hutchinsoncreated an accessible space for five adults with intellectual and physical disabilities which fits seamlessly into the neighborhood. These individuals were transitioning from an institution to community living, and we designed an environment to facilitate this change.  Gruver Cooley's Interior Designer, Cathleen Gruver, ensured that interior finishes and custom cabinetry created a welcoming, yet extremely functional, environment. 


Warm colors in neutral tones were used to convey tranquility and hominess, with cork wainscoting to protect walls from wheelchairs and reduce noise.  Multi-tone granite was chosen as the countertop because of its durability and ability to keep counters looking clean.  Dark cabinetry was selected to hide scuffs or spills. This easy maintenance allows staff to focus more on assisting residents than on extra cleaning. Custom cabinetry was designed by Cathleen with the residents' needs in mind. It is completely wheelchair accessible and accommodates the storage needed for five adults. Large pulls modernize the space and facilitate operation of doors and drawers.


Wood-like vinyl flooring is used throughout for its low maintenance, scratch resistance and easy replacement of individual pieces. The under-counter microwave drawer is readily reached from a seated position. With five adults in the home, a large refrigerator/freezer unit is ideal for cold food storage, while giving the room a high-end custom look.  An induction cooktop was chosen for its ability to stay cool to the touch during operation, leaving it safer for all users. This feature keeps food from sticking to the surface, making cleanup a breeze. Additionally, the house was built with energy efficiency in mind.  It includes a high efficiency HVAC system, tank-less hot water heaters, LED lighting, and energy efficient windows.


A customized lift system, which operates from tracks in the ceiling, was installed running from each bedroom to its bathroom to assist residents with bathing and personal care. The large, curb-less showers also facilitate this process, while vanities, sinks and mirrors are all designed to accommodate wheelchairs. Sprinklers are included throughout to provide the maximum level of fire safety.  The entire space, while designed to meet some quite specific needs, creates an attractive environment that feels like home and is very functional for its residents.


New ADA House


Arlington, VA



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