Design for Aging Review Awards, 16th Edition
The Design for Aging Review showcases communities that represent conscientious surroundings and advance environments for senior living.
These 8 projects represent the Merit and Special Recognition award recipients:
Located on the site of the former home of National Geographic’s longtime editor in North Bethesda, Maryland, the 100,000-square-foot Brightview Grosvenor is an assisted living and memory care community shaped by its context and commitment to sustainability. The project is one of the newest Brightview communities, built for a company that focuses on infill sites and careful design to enhance the communities where its projects are placed. For each of its 45 medium-sized communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and New England varies, Brightview favors unique buildings instead of a branded look.
Garden Spot Communities - Sycamore Springs
Sycamore Springs is a recent expansion to the Garden Spot Village community located in New Holland, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia. Inspired by cohousing and pocket neighborhood models, the first phase of the expansion includes 27 detached homes, two village greens, and two community buildings that encourage a true sense of community and foster deep relationships among residents. The team’s interweaving of two alternative development models strongly influenced the project’s final design. A combination of both models’ overarching themes, with some refinements, resulted in a design that is appropriate for seniors but still appealing to a slightly younger demographic than would normally choose to live at Garden Spot Village. The team’s approach is reminiscent of small, walkable communities in which neighbors are well acquainted and eagerly engaged in the natural flow of life in a community.
Maravilla at the Domain
Weaving together wellness programming, attentive service, and imaginative cuisine, the LEED Silver–certified Maravilla at The Domain is a walkable and connected community for aging adults. Residents enjoy a stylish setting in one of Austin’s vibrant shopping and lifestyle districts. The project features three mid-rise towers that provide independent living, assisted living, and memory support. They are organized around four different courtyards that are all connected by a first-floor center for healthy living. Inside the center, Maravilla’s restaurant offers signature dishes. It is supported by a bar that serves as a lively spot for happy hours and after-dinner drinks and a bistro that serves grab-and-go items throughout the day. Additional dining options are located just a short walk from Maravilla’s main entrance.
Peter Bulkeley Terrace Affordable Senior Housing
Occupying a century-old school building in Concord, Massachusetts, the 28,000-square-foot Peter Bulkeley Terrace Senior Housing and Community Center offers 28 one-bedroom apartments for senior independent living. It is supported by a series of public spaces that encourage its residents to explore the world beyond their rooms and participate in community life. The community center is also open to an adjacent public housing development, positioning the center as a vital community asset.
Southington Care Center Memory Care Renovations
This project demonstrates that even small renovations can result in serious impact, especially when designing for seniors. Though just 1,620 square feet in size, the Southington Care Center’s nurses’ station has transformed into an effective and stimulating environment for the center’s residents and staff. Southington Care Center is a nonprofit 130-bed skilled rehabilitation and long-term nursing facility. It is home to about 65 residents who are living with different stages of dementia. The previous nurses’ station was anchored by an unfriendly and institutional desk where staff monitored patients and charted their care. The area lacked natural light and was confusing to residents, who were often parked in wheelchairs surrounding the desk.
The Center at Belvedere
In Charlottesville, Virginia, the 47,000-square-foot Center at Belvedere stands as the physical representation of a nonprofit’s 60 years of work in empowering seniors and setting them up for successful, independent aging. From its perch on a hillside, the forward-thinking center welcomes members into 100 weekly programs, including classes and symposia focused on the visual and performing arts, health and fitness, and travel. As a vital community resource built through significant stakeholder input, the center is a sustainable model for healthy aging that can be replicated across all communities.
The Village at White River Junction
This five-story, 80-unit assisted living facility in White River Junction, Vermont, was developed to join the surrounding community seamlessly. Its intentional position on Main Street at a historic intersection allows it to take advantage of the confluence of a vibrant neighborhood and Vermont’s verdant landscape. The developer, a local resident and his business partner, have significant experience in the arts and community building and selected the site to upend the traditional model of senior living.
The idea for Weinberg House originated when the City of Boston offered its owners and operators an underused half-acre piece of land that adjoined an existing affordable senior housing development. The new building is a distinct counterpoint to the 790-apartment campus originally designed by José Luis Sert in the early 1970s, providing a sense of warmth and openness that the existing Brutalist structure fails to convey. Weinberg House was developed by a nonprofit with a stellar reputation for affordable senior housing that boasts a wide range of services for residents. Its art programs and discussion groups keep residents engaged intellectually, while its healthy living programs encourage physical activity. The focus on “aging in community” has often resulted in healthier resident populations compared to the typical aging population.
Virginia Hamrick Photography