The Center at Belvedere

AIA Design For Aging Review Award of Merit 2021

Charlottesville, VA
Architect of Record: Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Services Provided by Lifespan Design Studio

  • Site evaluation support and other pre-design services
  • Architectural programming
  • Design consultation through design and construction

Design Considerations

  • State-of-the-art accommodations to support fitness/wellness, lifelong learning, and arts experiences 
  • Provides flexibility and adaptability to accommodate a diverse and dynamic slate of programs and services
  • Vibrant open spaces to promote social connection
  • Uncompromising commitment to aging-friendly universal design 
  • Supports successful onsite partner enterprises
  • Preliminary design for future addition 
  • Designed for energy efficiency including solar roof panels

An organization long recognized for leadership and innovation in the senior center industry set a new standard for excellence in accommodating programs, services, and social connection for adults 50 with its new 48,000 square foot Center at Belvedere. The $24 million project encompasses a performing arts auditorium with rehearsal space; fitness wing with two exercise studios, equipped fitness room, and massage room; lifelong learning center with multiple classrooms, conference rooms, and library; art studio; game room; volunteer center; and travel center for an expansive travel program. The spacious central atrium incorporates lounges on both levels, an art gallery, and welcomes the community to Greenberry’s Coffee Company, a Charlottesville-based eatery featuring breakfast, lunch, and beverage options. A Sentara Martha Jefferson Primary Care Clinic, also on-site and open to the public, rounds out the Center’s commitment to supporting healthy, active lifestyles across the lifespan.

Lifespan Design Studio shared in The Center’s journey to this new facility for more than a decade, with services that began with site evaluation and architectural programming as the vision for a new center began to take shape. LDS became a permanent member of the design team led by Bushman Dreyfus, and has guided the effort to live up to the Center’s commitment to creating an environment that will be seamlessly accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

The six-acre site incorporates 230+ parking spaces thoughtfully configured in a curbless lot that offers safe paths of travel as pedestrians make their way between their cars and the building. A spacious rear patio and activity lawns support outdoor programming, special events, and informal gathering/play. An attractive garden building with restroom is incorporated in the landscape to accommodate the center’s active gardening program. Preliminary design was completed for a future addition with a gymnasium, elevated walking track, and locker rooms, to ensure that appropriate site space was reserved for the expanded building and parking lot, and to stage construction with minimal impact upon ongoing center operations.

Photos by Virginia Hamrick Photography