3 Buzz-Worthy International Senior Housing Designs

The U.S. seniors housing market has seen its fair share of innovative architecture in recent years. But the U.S. isn’t alone in this.

By the end of the year, Senior Housing News will have named a new Architecture & Design Award winner in the “Best International Design” category. In the meantime, check out three other buzz-worthy senior housing communities located across the border (or across the pond):

Belmont Village Santa Fe in Mexico City, Mexico


From the outside, Belmont Village Santa Fe might seem like just another urban senior living community. In reality, it’s so much more.

This $55 million project—the first international location for Houston-based Belmont Village Senior Living—officially opened to residents in May 2017. The senior living community itself actually takes up 11 floors of a just-built, 104,000-square-foot mixed-use building in Mexico City; the ground floor is reserved for retail and restaurants, while the top eight floors serve as a Hyatt Hotel.

Conveniently, ABC Medical Centre—one of Mexico’s leading health care institutions—is located next door to the building.


Belmont Village CEO Patricia Will chose to expand her business into Mexico after realizing that assisted living options for seniors there are few and far between. At the same time, some older Americans are choosing to move to Mexico, as opposed to assisted living communities in the United States.

All in all, Belmont Village Santa Fe fills a glaring need, according to Will. And it does so while also serving as a prime example of an urban, state-of-the-art senior housing community.

Hogeweyk in Weesp, Netherlands

This is, perhaps, the most famous international senior living community of them all.

Hogeweyk, or the “dementia village” in Weesp, Netherlands, has made headlines for years due to its ultra-innovative approach to memory care. Within the self-enclosed “town,” as many as 152 residents go about their daily lives as though they do not live in a senior housing community, let alone in a memory care setting.

Instead, Hogeweyk residents go grocery shopping, visit the post office, clean their apartments, get haircuts and dine at restaurants, all at their own discretion. Yes, the postmen, cashiers, servers and stylists are individuals trained to work with seniors who have dementia—but the residents do not necessarily realize that (nor do they have to).

Hogeweyk, and the “dementia village” concept it brings to life, has undeniably achieved mass appeal. The concept, since its introduction in 2009, has caught on around the world: similar communities are being developed in San Diego, and write-ups have been featured by The AtlanticGizmodo and CNN. Though one can only theorize as to why dementia villages have won over the hearts of readers, it’s possible that the dignity and the supervised discretion they offer to residents is something readers and developers would want for themselves, should they require memory care services in the future.

Berwick by the Sea in in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River, British Columbia, is a sight to behold.

The independent and assisted living community, located on the water on the east side of Vancouver Island, boasts a “sense of place” so strong and views so spectacular that it was named the Senior Housing News Design Award winner in the “Best International Design” category last year.

Overall, the 131-unit community is uniquely Canadian, in that it reflects the lifestyle of residents in Campbell River, which has historically been a fishing and logging town. At Berwick by the Sea, for instance, there’s an old row boat hanging from the beam work in the ceiling, and hallways lined with photos of individuals fishing in the town years ago.

Additionally, the rails on the community’s apartment balconies are similar to those found on a cruise ship, according to Perkins Eastman Managing Principal Dan Cinelli. Combined with views of the water—which can be seen from most of Berwicks apartments—the community may feel like a boat, floating on the sea (without the risk of any seasickness, of course).

Does your community have what it takes to win the 2017 Senior Housing News Design Award for ‘Best International Design?’ To find out, submit your project here.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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