Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Y" I love my job.

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The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.
-DeAnn Hollis
Volunteerism and Community Outreach is deep within the heart of Mandeville Canyon Designs. There is something incredibly rewarding about having the opportunity to share your time and talent in a way that benefits the community in which you live. This is why I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a group of people spearheading the design of the new Southern District YMCA right here in Exeter, NH!  

Amy Hage, Renee Carman, Jaye Carr and Julie LaNigra
Designing a public space that tends to the needs of just about every age group presents a very fun design challenge. It begs for function, along with a certain aesthetic. So how did we approach the project? Well, I would say the Southern District YMCA has tapped into the local community, the end users, the people who the "Y" will matter most to, and asked them for their input. This has truly been a community project.

At the same time, our design team has put careful thought into the building process. It has been wonderful to see that the Y has the same design theory as we do at Mandeville Canyon Designs, which is to design in balance with nature.

In addition, we want to utilize the neuroscience of designing a public space. Not sure what I mean? The neuroscience of interior design is simply the practice of designing a space based on how it makes you feel, or how we want it to make you feel. We are paying closer attention to the human's natural cognitive response to their surrounding environment. According to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, everything around us; the shapes, scales, textures, materials and sounds affect our mood, decision making, health and the level of motivation at any given moment in time. Fascinating, right?

We have been able to incorporate a lot of windows to bring the feeling of outside in. The use of tactile materials that may be either warm or cool to the touch have also been thoughtfully incorporated into the building design.

At Mandeville Canyon Designs, we always consider the five earth elements and look to them for inspiration, which is exactly what we've done at the Y! We have brought in the element of fire, with the addition of a fireplace where members can gather. And we are currently looking into creative ways to bring in the element of water as well. Colors have been chosen carefully, warm and inviting in one space, colorful and playful in another. I don't want to give the entire design away, but suffice to say, it's going to be wonderful!

The Southern District YMCA has worked incredibly hard to make the building a special place within the Exeter area.  It's so exciting to see the progress week to week and I, for one, can not wait to see the final product, as I just know it's going to be fantastic!
Stay tuned for more updates on the project!

Warmly,
Renee