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ARB: Rx for Burr Highway nursing residence conversion faulted

Renovation of the unique Mediplex constructing, at leftconstructed within the Sixties, has gone by way of a number of phases throughout overview of plans to transform the constructing right into a reminiscence care facility. at heart is an earlier plan that mimicked the design of the King’s Freeway Elementary College throughout Burr Highway, and at proper, is a extra fashionable design offered to the Architectural Overview Board on Tuesday. / Graphics, Redniss & Mead

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — A plan to show an empty nursing residence at Burr and Publish roads right into a reminiscence care facility has encountered opposition at a sequence of board and fee conferences over the past 18 months.

The plan for the facet of the constructing going through Burr Highway is simply too difficult, ARB members stated.

After a textual content modification was authorized by the Planning and Zoning Fee final October permitting the overall venture at 1 Burr Highway to maneuver ahead, the plan was again earlier than the Architectural Overview Board on Tuesday night time for overview of the proposed design.

At their Zoom assembly, ARB members once more complained about the newest design for the constructing, which beneath the plans is being transformed from a 120-bed expert nursing residence right into a 68-bed reminiscence care facility.

The plan for the facet of the constructing going through Publish Highway West is simply too plain, with louvres for air flow not effectively hidden, in keeping with ARB members.

Beforehand referred to as Mediplex, the constructing has gone by way of a number of design phases, together with a change from a method mimicking King’s Freeway Elementary College throughout the road to a more recent, extra fashionable look that ARB members stated Tuesday appears to be like too uncoordinated on one facet and too plain on the opposite.

The board despatched the property proprietor’s representatives, Rick Redniss of Redniss & Mead, a Stamford land-use agency, and architect Dan King, again to the drafting board, telling them to come back again to the ARB with a revised design.

The facet of the constructing going through Publish Highway West, which will likely be considered by a whole lot of drivers on the Publish Highway seems too easy and lacks architectural element, ARB members stated.

“It appears so bland,” board member Manuel Castedo stated of the Publish Highway facet of the constructing.

Whereas the opposite facet of the constructing going through the quieter Burr Highway, appears to be like over-designed, the ARB members agreed.

Rick Redniss, of Redniss & Mead, a Stamford land-use agency, offered the latest plan for the previous Mediplex facility to the Architectural Overview Board.

“The design must be edited down. It is too busy, too arbitrary and too ornamental,” commented member Jon Halper.

Particularly, board members did not like how the architect handled mechanical gear within the constructing by utilizing ornamental panels, a method board members stated was not effectively built-in into the constructing’s design.

Additionally they disliked the look of the louvres for air flow on the facet of the constructing, which board chairman Ward French known as “evident. The mechanicals shouldn’t be as evident,” he stated.

Board members have been extra important of many elements of what King had known as “a extra modern and less-conservative design,” than the earlier design that had been patterned after the elementary faculty throughout the road.

The mixture of picket paneling on the corners of the constructing, paired with white brick within the extra fashionable design plan, didn’t sit effectively with the ARB. The 2 supplies do not mesh visually and can be distracting, they stated. The placement of some gables deliberate for the renovated constructing additionally did not work, some board members commented.

The constructing, constructed within the Sixties, has been the goal of neighbors’ complaints about site visitors and noise brought on by deliveries in addition to poor upkeep of the constructing for years.

Earlier concepts for re-use of the constructing have included a boutique lodge and a bigger medical facility.

After listening to ARB members’ feedback Tuesday, Redniss thanked them for his or her concepts and stated he’ll return with an up to date design.

Freelance author Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism instructor for a few years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for 10 years and at present teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State College.

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