When we first visited The Villa at San Mateo, a rental community for 55+, we knew immediately it was a gem. This building’s mid-century modern architecture is a favorite of 1950’s design fans everywhere. And we quickly learned about the history of the property as a center for entertainment and dining unparalleled for its time in the Peninsula area of Northern California.
When Elder Care Alliance purchased the building in late 2016, we lamented that those historic spaces – two large commercial kitchens, vast banquet spaces and a spectacular lounge – had been left unused for some time. The sparkling crystal of the wall sconces and something magical in the air told us we should consider how to bring these spaces back to productive use.
Since the best ideas can often come from outside, we’ve launched The Villa Challenge to inspire anyone with a great concept to propose the best use of these spaces. We’re asking those with expertise in architecture, design, engineering and urban planning to get involved. And we’re also challenging students, community members, advocates and policymakers to weigh in.
The Villa Challenge invites eligible teams to propose concepts that further Elder Care Alliance’s Mission, Vision and Values and that advance the inclusion of older adults in society. While the proposed uses are not required to include care and services for older adults, they must be able to operate in harmony with the peaceful, vibrant residential living environment at The Villa.
The judging panel to select advancing teams will include Elder Care Alliance staff as well as a Villa at San Mateo resident and San Mateo County Supervisor Carol Groom.
To show we’re serious about age inclusion, we’re awarding teams more points when they include students and older adults. And, to demonstrate our commitment to combating climate change, we’ll be offering extra points to projects that include carbon offsets. Successful project proposals should deliver a positive ROI within five years. However, because we’re a not-for-profit, we welcome proposals that may not result in exceptional financial results but offer an extraordinary community benefit instead.
Finalist teams will have an opportunity to present before the Elder Care Alliance Board of Directors on September 25 and the winning team will receive a $1000.00 prize.
To review the full Villa Challenge Announcement and to express interest in the competition, please visit www.www.eldercarealliance.org/thevillachallenge.
Teams must declare their interest before 5 PM on May 15 and the competition will take place in phases over the course of the summer of 2018.