- Ginia Taylor, MA
Lake-View House with Universal Design in Mind--Now for Sale
Update: November 7, 2018. This property has a pending offer.
Just outside the heart of Marietta is a hidden subdivision of lush greenery and lakeside beauty. Pine trees line the drive. Six family homes encircle two beautiful lakes. The scenery is perfect for fishing, strolling, birdwatching, or boating on a weekend away.
One house in particular catches the eye—it has a For Sale sign in the yard. And it’s the only house in the subdivision that has a front walkway flanked by junipers. That house is found at 1060 Ven Villa Road.
That walkway is there for a reason. Car drivers face a steep hill when they stare up at the driveway from the street. But the walkway slopes gently across the hill, taming an otherwise formidable incline.
The driveway and the walkway both lead visitors to an outdoor car port and stepless entry doors. Visitors can choose to scale the driveway or take the walkway. But with the walkway, the trek to the interior becomes accessible to all.
Accessible is a key word for this three-story property. This house goes far beyond retrofitting.
Starting in 1993, the visionaries behind this house conceptualized and then built an inclusive environment from the ground up.
Key insights came from Barrier Free Environments, Inc.'s implementation of universal design principles in the out-of-print resource Accessibility in GA: A Technical & Policy Guide to Access in Georgia. This book combined insights from author and universal design founder Ronald Mace and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities to create a comprehensive plan for designing inclusive space.
The home’s designers also incorporated guidance from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Notice that there is a flat transition between the hardwood floor and the commercial-grade carpet in this picture.
Let’s be clear that the ADA and similar regulations do not apply to private institutions or residences. But many of the recommendations within the ADA have been implemented at 1060 Ven Villa Road.
There are no steps anywhere leading up to the property. And within the home, wood floors, marble floors, and commercial-grade carpets create smooth transitions between rooms. An elevator grants everyone access to everywhere in the house. Wide hallways with walk-in bathrooms and roll-in showers are abundant. There is at least one roll-under sink on every floor.
The design team applied thoughtful details. Tall windows are placed at low heights so people of all heights can see the view outside. There are electrical outlets in the floors to power devices. Lever door handles, deep knobs, and pulls make it easier to use the hardware to access drawers, cabinets, and doors.
Who were those visionaries who built this dream house? Many people contributed to the design and construction of 1060 Ven Villa Road. The motivational force of this effort was Gigi Taylor. She works now for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency as a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Professional.
But back in 1993 Gigi and her husband Doug were contemplating a move to a new house. They wanted visitors of any age or ability to be able to visit their property, and their current residence was not suitable. When retrofitting didn’t work out, they went to the drawing board with a team of experts to design and build the ideal accessible space.
The family home of 1060 Ven Villa Road was the fruit of their efforts. The house was the perfect place for family and friends to live and visit without navigating physical barriers. As Doug's elderly aunt Joann used to say, “Yes, I’ll go to Gigi’s house. I can get in there.”
For Jo Ann and for many others, 1060 Ven Villa has been a place to cultivate independence.
Now Gigi and Doug are ready to pass on their labor of love to another family.
If you would like to learn more about this remarkable house, contact Gigi at 770-235-6802, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Doug at 770-235-6801, email@example.com.
If an agent is involved, please book appointments through the Showingtime app or contact Duffy Realty, 678-381-3613.
Click to find the listing on Zillow.
Photos courtesy of Raminta Zebrauskas and Gigi Taylor.
Media Contact for this article:
Ginia Taylor, MA