Creative Senior Living Communities Emphasize Aging in Place

When it comes to designing aging urban communities, the focus shouldn’t be on “senior housing”—it should be about lifestyle, a place where residents want to live and age in place, said the senior living community architect behind the BOOM projects in a SmartPlanet article.

The BOOM projects are residential communities being built around the world that bill themselves as pedestrian-oriented, culture-driven, and socially empowering; the first one is scheduled to break ground in 2012.

Although the concept started with a client who wanted a retirement community designed for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, later projects aren’t so niche, and they’re not just for retirees, either, said Matthias Hollwich, part of the Hollwich Kushner design firm behind the projects, in an interview with SmartPlanet.

SHN Awards Ad

“People have the right to live well all their lives and we all have to work together to make that happen,” he said. “It is not about senior housing—it is about a place where living comes first and [being able] to do so at a later age needs to be supported by starting it early.”

The description for one BOOM project, located in Costa del Sol, say that it’s for people beyond 40, to emphasize the point that people have to start preparing for their future at some point.

“At 40 we have to start to build our future and [it’s] best if we do that at a place where we can build a community around us, create roots, and feel the security that we do not have to move out at the moment when we need the community the most,” said Hollwich in the interview.

SHN Awards Ad

The problem is that many people put off planning their futures because they don’t consider themselves to be “old,” said Matthew Hoffman, an architect at Hollwich Kushner.

“When you are 85, have medical issues etc., you shouldn’t be living in a house and community that doesn’t support you,” Hoffman told SmartPlanet. “Many of the problems encountered when you are old can actually be solved ahead of time with proper planning.”

Read the full article on SmartPlanet here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace