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Image of Helen Bader buildingThe Helen Bader Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Architects: Kahler Slater Architects.
Consultants: Institute on Aging and Environment

The Helen Bader Center is a residential setting for 24 residents with Alzheimer's Disease or a related Dementia. The environment is designed to facilitate the highest level of residents' independence, respecting their privacy and dignity, and promoting activities and social interaction. Each household provides its residents with residential kitchen, intimate dining, living room and activity nooks, all of which reinforce the non-institutional ambiance.

Important Design Principles

The scale of the center is small to give it a separate identity despite the surrounding large mid-rise buildings. The unit is divided into two households of 12 residents, each with its own kitchen, dining, and activity space that create the domestic core. Activity spaces are located on the perimeter of the domestic core in which a resident can engage the wandering path allowing continuous movement overlooking activity spaces. The facility also has a roof garden which allows secure, movement of residents in an activity area that is a landscaped, sheltered micro-climate. The single and double occupancy rooms in each household provide for to the varying needs of the residents.

Images below can be clicked for larger imaze sizes

Image of Helen Bader floor plan Image of Living room Image of Spiritual room
Diagram showing different spaces in
the unit
View of a household core with living/activity
space, dining, and serving kitchen
Religious space as an expression of
cultural identity


Institute on Aging & Environment School of Architecture & Urban Planning
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee P.O.Box 413 Milwaukee, WI 53201
Telephone: 414-229-2991 Fax: 414-229-6976

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