Creating Homelike Environments for Excellent Care

On a sunny afternoon, PRA joined staff members, City of De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh, City of Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, the Greater Green Bay Chamber ambassadors, and members of the community to celebrate the completion of the new facility, Residence by Rennes in De Pere, WI. The Assisted Living and Memory Care facility contains 24 units and represents the first of its type for the Rennes Group. After working with the Rennes Group for over 15 years on numerous projects across their various campuses, it was an honor to design this beautiful new facility to assist them in providing continued excellent care for all their residents.

Community Based Residential Facilities like Residence by Rennes represent a growing trend in Assisted Living facilities to provide care in a home-like environment. The facility consists of two 12-unit households, each organized around a courtyard. Each household has a communal living and dining space filled with light from the courtyards.

In addition to the new CBRF, two new entrance canopy additions, five additional RCAC units, and a therapy gym addition have been added to the campus. These additions provide additional amenities and enhanced design for current residents of the Rennes De Pere campus. These projects work together with the various buildings PRA has designed for the campus over the years to create a cohesive and welcoming environment for residents and guests.

Open Offices Lead to Open Communication

If your business requires open communication between staff, then your physical environment must respond to their communication needs.  We work in teams on the design of all of our architectural projects.  There may be five or more architects working on one project.  It is extremely important that they can easily communicate with each other, and keep in touch with other project teams.

Three years ago, we moved from an individual cubicle environment with five-foot partitions to an open environment with fewer lower partitions.  We designed three offices, two for accounting and one for the managing partner.  The remaining staff (70) including the partners are in open cubicles.  Before we moved, we surveyed our staff to see if they would be receptive to the change.  The younger staff embraced the change but older staff were skeptical.  Now that we are in the new environment for three years this is what they say about the change.

“It allows for the opportunity to see what others in the office are working on.  It is very easy to get consumed with your own studio, but the open office environment helps me to stay in tune with the rest of the studios and there designs.” Michael

“An open office environment encourages frequent communication between project team members, and creates a culture of continuous improvement.”  Anthony

“Our open office environment allows our younger staff to listen to conversations from upper level staff and provides them real on-the-job-training.”  Karen

We created huddle rooms for private conversations and larger conference rooms for group and client meetings.  Our café, once called the lunchroom, is in the middle of the office and open to the staff.  This also encourages communication between teams that are not working together.

When we show clients our office, they love it.  They can see firsthand the interaction between our staff and can envision their own staff in the new environment.  Improved communication and lesser square feet per staff member also improves the bottom line.

We are proud to say we eat our own cooking…and our clients love it!