4 Characteristics of Standout Senior Living Designs

The pressure to meet local market demands while standing out from the senior living competition is becoming ever greater, leading to more diverse and dynamic building designs.

Still, creating exceptionally innovative and impressive projects is a big challenge. The buildings that have succeeded can be valuable guides and inspirations for others. This just one reason why Senior Housing News highlights such projects each year through the Architecture & Design Awards.

On July 1, SHN will begin accepting submissions for the 2019 awards. As this date approaches, we looked back at the 2018 winners and identified four design elements that impressed the panel of judges.

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Intergenerational appeal

“People drive by this and, whether they’re 21 or 81, they’re going to say, ‘That’s an attractive building, I’d like to live there.’” — Jeff Anderzhon, senior planner and design architect with Eppstein Uhen, on the Best Assisted Living winner, Brightview West End.

“This is a really nice option which doesn’t remind you of mortality. It’s new, urbanist, friendly, and I think that’s what’s going to attract people who say, ‘I think we should move in now,’ versus the person who waits.” — Dan Cinelli, principal and board director at design firm Perkins Eastman, on the Best Independent Living winner, Sycamore Springs at Garden Spot Village.

Marketable features

“There is still a bit of a legacy and emotional connectivity to the building that is important. The operator can market it and use it to leverage position in marketplace.” — Eric Krull, THW design principal and executive director, on the Best Renovation/Repositioning winner, Knoxville High.

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“It’s a beautiful building, and let’s be blunt, that’s a tremendous sales feature.” — David Dillard, principal at D2 Architecture, on the Best Post-Acute winner, Glenview at Pelican Bay.

Creative use of the site

“In terms of the site layout, it was clever how they utilized the grades to allow courtyards for adult day and the upper level courtyard for memory care.” — Ward Isaacson, president and housing team leader, Pope Architects, on the Best Memory Care winner, Williamsburg Landing.

“The most influential element, for me, was how they pulled the outdoor flora and fauna into the interiors. There is lots of natural light and glazing, and it’s put to great use.” — Luann Thoma-Holec, founder and principal at Thoma-Holec Design, on the Best International winner, Taikang Community Yue Garden.

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“Great views, great use of site and maximizing both actual open space and perceived open space. The focus of Triangle Park really brings an element of space to the site plan.” — Eppstein Uhen’s Anderzhon, on Best CCRC winner, The Village at the Triangle.

Breaking the mold

“The size and scale was unique. Normally, affordable housing is rows upon rows of apartments with no character.” — Chris Frommell, managing director at Direct Supply-Aptura, on the Best Affordable Housing winner, Cooperative Living House at Garden Spot Village.

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