For the third year in a row, design and masterplanning firm, The Architectural Team, has sponsored a studio course/competition for undergraduates at Boston Architectural College (BAC). This time, a focus is centered on the design of assisted living facilities (ALFs) in cities.

Aimed at educating the next generation of architectural practitioners, these “open ideas design competitions” have been added to the college curriculum to help students investigate and propose new housing solutions. 

The most recent competition, entitled “Advancing Years,” has asked students for innovative ideas in assisted living—a rapidly growing niche in housing and healthcare for seniors.

Created by Bob Verrier, FAIA, NCARB, co-founder and managing principal of The Architectural Team and a BAC alum, the course has tasked students to “challenge the conventional order of the design process, in order to develop a new housing concept.” In addition to donating $5,000 in support of the program—half of which goes to the three finalists selected by a jury of Boston design leaders—The Architectural Team also participated: The firm’s senior project manager, Gary Kane, AIA, has conducted regular student design reviews.

According to Kane, the course criteria for “Advancing Years” include considerations of the economic status of aging populations, rapidly changing levels of acuity, existing ALF solutions, the potential impact of new ALFs on cultural and natural environments, and sustainable design. “Our goal is to focus the next generation of designers on real-world urban challenges,” said Kane. “To ensure a wide variety of community-based solutions for aging citizens, all facets of the industry—real estate, finance, healthcare and design—must collaborate effectively together in brand new ways.”

Kane adds, “The spirit of the ‘Advancing Years’ competition is about encouraging interdisciplinary teamwork that results in visionary ideas for our urban housing future.” 

The BAC course and competition reflects more than four decades of ongoing work by The Architectural Team in transforming and revitalizing New England neighborhoods through adaptive reuse, historic preservation and development of multifamily and senior housing.

Competition winners will be announced later this semester. For more information, please contact C.C. Sullivan.