This LEED Silver certified facility serves medical and assisted care needs for our veterans within a tranquil forest setting on American Lake.

The VA’s Community Living Center (CLC) is a 79,000 sf nursing home facility located on the Southern edge of the historic American Lake Medical Center campus. Nestled within a clearing of a mature, second growth forest, with Mt. Rainier visible across the lake, this LEED Silver certified facility breaks the traditional mold of an institutional nursing home to create a unique and humane environment for our veterans. Project goals sought to provide views to the lake from the majority of patient rooms, and integrate sustainable design strategies.

Replacing the campus’s former Building 2 – an aged, historic, two-story facility with an “institutional” design – offered the opportunity to create a more contemporary expression, responding to the goal of providing a more “home-like”, non-institutional healing and care environment. The program required the accommodation of 83 patient beds to house ambulatory, non-ambulatory and dementia care residents, along with support spaces such as common dining and gathering areas, administrative offices, and a dietetics kitchen capable of preparing meals for facilities region-wide.



In response to the VA’s requirement for a single story facility, the design solution merges the building with its site. The dietetics kitchen is submerged into the earth on the public side of the building, while the resident rooms, covered with an extensive green roof system, are configured to maximize views. A gently curving corridor provides generous daylight while avoiding the monotony of a long, straight hallway. Successful design solutions improving daylighting, patient access to amenities, efficiency, and overall aesthetic of the environment have bolstered the morale of staff and patients alike within this contemporary facility.