July 17, 2007
Merrill Gardens wins NAHB award

By JOURNAL STAFF

Runberg Architecture Group of Seattle won a silver award from the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Housing Council for having a “best of the best” project in the 50-and-over senior housing category. The award was for Merrill Gardens at Queen Anne at 800 and 805 Fourth Ave. N., an assisted-living community designed to create a safe, communal environment. It was the only entrant from Washington to receive one of 87 awards. Merrill Gardens LLC was the contractor. Merrill Gardens is built on a tight urban site with two heritage elm trees, which the building’s design incorporated and preserved. The design draws from local architectural styles and includes gabled roofs, wood brackets, wood trellises and wide windows. The seven structures are connected by pedestrian bridges around a grand courtyard that opens to the Queen Anne neighborhood. The corridors have resting spaces that assist in orientation and are lit by natural light. Exposed wood columns and beams delineate programmatic areas, along with low planters and differentiated floor treatments. Parking is below-grade. The NAHB 50+ Council presents gold and silver awards in 58 categories nationally. For more information about the awards, see www.nahb.org/50plushousingawards.