The Baddour Center Transitional Housing by Roy Decker, Anne Marie Decker, and William Doran of Duvall Decker Architects is a 120-acre residential community in Northwest Mississippi that provides the necessary infrastructure to support a full, daily life for adults with intellectual disabilities.
For its research-based and comprehensive design, The Baddour Center Transitional Housing has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The Baddour Center serves individuals across the full spectrum of intellectual disability and autism disorders by providing housing, personal care, vocations, and recreation.
The programming at the Center provides opportunities for spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional growth.
Beyond mere services and physical structures, the Baddour Center has created a thriving community in its nearly 40 years of operation.
In support of its mission to be a model residential community for adults with intellectual disabilities, the Baddour Center completed a comprehensive master plan in 2017 for the enrichment of the resident’s quality of life, upgrades to campus appearance, strengthening the institution’s financial health, and enhancing campus operations.
The first project of the Master Plan included the design and construction of two new 3,500 square-foot homes, with five residents each, that employ a transitional model of care.
In this model, residents live mostly independently with some daytime support from a Direct Support Professional (DSP).
The new transitional homes would be sited near two existing group homes on the south side of campus.
Making responsive housing for residents with intellectual disabilities requires a special understanding of their day-to-day life experience, the stresses they encounter, and how they navigate and engage with one another, staff, their families, the campus, and the world.
The design work required research and resident engagement to best understand the special requirements of people with multiple types and levels of disability.
The design team included staff and resident insight and participation at every level of the project.
The quantitative program for each 3,532 GSF house includes five bedrooms, each with accessible private bathrooms, living, dining, kitchen, a meeting space, half bath, laundry, a direct support staff desk, porch, covered parking for golf carts and bicycles, and an outdoor gathering space common to all the houses.
The design goals were to make a house with low sensory stress and with organizational clarity and that is safe and healthy, allowing staff observation and support without intrusion.
Spaces were designed to avoid social conflict (dead-end spaces) and promote choice, allowing residents to preview activities for social interaction or maintain distance and privacy.
These buildings will be the residents’ homes for the rest of their lives and they will occupy the bedrooms for years.
The residents thus wanted the houses to be unique, a home they could be proud of, but they also wanted them to fit in and be part of the community.
The houses are environmentally alive and ecologically mature, with residents connected to the site, cycles of the day, weather, and seasons.
Project: The Baddour Center Transitional Housing
Architects: Duvall Decker Architects
Lead Architects: Roy Decker, Anne Marie Decker, and William Doran
General Contractor: F&F Construction, Inc.
Client: The Baddour Center
Photographers: Andrew Welch Photo