Retirement community designs showcased

Students develop models, sketches for assisted-living center in Brenham

Designs developed by architecture students at Texas A&M University for a five-acre expansion of an assisted-living retirement community in Brenham were showcased December 2002 at a public exhibit at the Kruse Memorial Lutheran Village in Brenham.

For a little more than a month, 18 Aggie architecture students worked in nine teams designing models, sketches and computer-rendered images for the expanded senior living facility.

"As the percentage of people over 65 continues to grow, so will the demand for senior retirement services like those provided by Kruse Village," said George J. Mann, the Ronald L. Skaggs Endowed Professor for Health Facilities Design and director of the Texas A&M design studio. "Students working on this project gained valuable experience in an architecture-for-health field that will be increasingly important in the future."

The project was launched in mid-October, when the student teams visited the village and discussed residents' needs and potential uses for the five-acre project site with DyAnn Lauzon, executive director of the facility. Lauzon later visited with the students at their Texas A&M studio to monitor their progress.

"I was amazed at the students' work," she said. "Their ideas are wonderfully creative and visionary."

Kruse Village is a ministry of Lutheran Social Services of the South, the social service arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. The complex includes facilities for those ready to retire into independent living, as well as for those who require special services. Services include Village Gardens, active senior-living duplexes in a subdivision setting, and Landua Apartments for independent living. The Whitmore Center offers 24-hour skilled nursing care, and the Tiaden Unit is a special care facility designed for residents with dementia-related illnesses.

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