Updates to reconfigure and refresh the former café created a vibrant, contemporary dining venue to better serve residents, staff and guests. The “inside-the-box” marketplace renovations opened up and reprogramed the various spaces comprising this casual dining venue.
We began at the front door, shifting the gated portion of the entrance forward so that the new bakery/coffee shop and grab ‘n go store can be accessed even when other marketplace venues are closed. New slatted wood barn doors and interior windows enable residents to have a view into the main bistro and display kitchen preparation areas.
Varied and Intimate Venues
The bakery display is the highlight of the new coffee shop which features the community’s popular pastry chef’s creations. The adjacent Corner Shoppe provides a new grab ‘n go option for between meals and as an alternative to the communal dining options.
The staff corner was an important addition to provide staff members with the option of a relaxed place of respite while enjoying marketplace items. This space also includes a hospitality station with coffee and other beverages as a staff member perk.
A Fresh Approach to Culinary Preparation, Nutrition and Flavor Diversity
The design team collaborated with community leadership and culinary staff members to help define functional goals and prioritize design features. We started by meeting with the kitchen staff to observe how they worked and how the spaces and equipment functioned during mealtimes. Much of the cooking equipment was replaced and upgraded to accommodate more variety, diverse dietary preferences and fresh, made-to-order selections. The new equipment introduced contemporary technology innovations so that much of the food is now presented in an attractive, open-kitchen display format. One of the highlights is a hearth oven introduced at the center of the marketplace.
French Bistro Design Inspiration
The design inspiration for a distinctive atmosphere that reflects a new attitude toward the casual dining experiences. was a Parisian café/bistro. Resident representatives had the opportunity to review finish options and provided input regarding final selections. Bold emerald green wainscot and statement artwork draw eyes into the main dining space. White shiplap on the opposite face and floor-to-ceiling windows on the adjacent wall keep the space bright and airy while providing visual interest and texture.
Givens Estates wanted to update their Oxford Commons amenity spaces to reflect their mission to provide residents the opportunities for a purpose-driven life where they can pursue their passions and explore the possibilities for personal growth and enrichment. Thus, we updated their commons to provide modern amenity spaces that reflect Givens Estates mountain aesthetic.
Multiple dining venues include a flexible gathering space aptly named The Social Brew provides a new place to connect with others over a cup of coffee, light breakfast, or glass of wine.
Market + Craft serves casual dining as well as fresh baked goods, take-out items, and locally sourced goods in the Marketplace. The new patio offers a spot to gather for a meal at a shaded table or relaxation around a fire pit or Terrene provides a formal dining experience highlighted with a chef’s table bar to watch the kitchen action.
Additional renovations included the wellness center which now boasts a newly renovated 1700 SF fitness room and 1100 SF yoga and aerobics studio. A stained glass window triptych was relocated to a more prominent position and backlit to highlight the art inspired by the surrounding mountains. The multi-story grand staircase was refreshed with new finishes and now features a dramatic lighting installation.
Constructed front and center on an existing campus, these senior living apartments and community center connect lifelong learning, holistic wellness and vibrant community.
Community Front Door for Lifelong Learning and Wellness
Located in the heart of campus and visible from the adjacent roadway, the new Learning and Wellness Center fills the need for a community front door. Designed to be a bustling center of activity where connections flourish, the main floor houses a bistro and lounge, art gallery, salon and spa, business center, bank, pharmacy, and auditorium to support the community’s Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® classes and other educational and entertainment programs. Spiritual wellness is encouraged in The Quiet Place, a series of small rooms for meditation. The new center also allowed for a consolidation of administrative offices into one central location.
Fitness spaces are located on the ground floor with both internal access and a separate entrance for residents walking, biking or driving from other parts of campus. This area includes a four-lane lap and therapy pool and a spa pool with natural lighting, a state-of-the-art cardio and strength training room with equipment designed for an active aging population and a wellness studio to support group classes.
The Crossings Apartments replaced older single homes with higher density housing that reflects current consumer demands. These new residences provide an indoor connection to community amenities and feature a mix of one bedroom plus den, two bedroom and two bedroom plus den apartments ranging from 1,253 to 1,569 square feet. Open floor plans, natural light and abundant storage were the priorities for these residences. Each apartment also includes one under-building covered parking space.
This project also includes an interior pedestrian bridge over the driveway to provide an interior connection to this campus hub. Residents, team members and visitors are able to walk under cover from the Health Care and Personal Care houses, through The Crossings and the Learning & Wellness Center, and all the way to the apartments on the west side of the community. President/CEO Larry Zook shared that bringing the different parts of campus together under one roof was something residents and team members have dreamed of for many years.Learn more about Wellness
Hospitality was the focus of this project, which implemented long-anticipated updates to the community center and outdoor amenities for this University-based retirement community. Opened in 2004, the Village at Penn State had not implemented planned second phase additions until after merging with Liberty Lutheran Services in 2012.
A Unique Partnership Creates Palmer Park Outdoor Amenities
Palmer Park is a first-of-its kind fully landscaped park and gardens, featuring professionally contoured golf putting and practice areas, a village green and a multi-purpose area. Designed and completed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, Palmer Park includes a nine-hole putting course plus a couple of additional holes that bear all the aspects and storied history of the Arnold Palmer signature brand. The synthetic green requires less maintenance than grass, particularly factoring in the region’s sometimes challenging weather conditions.
Palmer Park is complemented by adjacent gardens, walkways and a bistro terrace for al fresco dining. The terrace features a pergola system for sun control as well as outdoor dining and fire pit seating. The park includes a grass lawn area for natural wellness activities such as croquet and yoga, or special events; a town-square type clock; and a bocce court.
Implementing Phase 2 Community Center Additions
The community center was designed in Phase 1 to function effectively when the Village opened, but was planned from the start to be reoriented and expanded as the community grew. The expansion provides a centralized community hub that creates the desired entry experience and connects resident living spaces with amenities and services. A new entry drive and porte cochere lead into the commons addition which includes a new main lobby, reception, and marketing suite. The existing library was renovated to expand views from the lobby towards Penn State University’s neighboring Beaver Stadium. Additionally, existing corridors received fresh finishes, and the former multi-purpose space and creamery have become the bistro, a new casual dining option featuring a hearth oven and display cooking.
The final piece of the puzzle is a new one-story, 6,200 SF community building. At the center of this building is a 165 seat multipurpose auditorium with raised stage to host, among other things, on-site Road Scholar classes and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes. This community gathering space also serves as a conditioned connector between the existing skilled care building, personal care household and the rest of the Village at Penn State community. Other than the cottages on the perimeter of the campus, all buildings are now connected as a result of this community building addition.
Pedestrian Friendly, Varied Housing Options for Satellite Community
Since its founding, Moravian Manor has operated under the premise of blending seamlessly into the surrounding town rather than creating its own insular community. The downtown location became a challenge as the community has thrived and needed room to grow. The purchase of a nearby 72 acre property paved the way for the Warwick Woodlands satellite community.
Traditional Neighborhood Development
The design of Warwick Woodlands reflects Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) principles that respond to consumer preferences for an interconnected community—engaging rather than isolating residents from the existing townscape.
Key features are varied types of housing, courtyards and public spaces, and a network of pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. The first phase included ten freestanding two-story townhomes, 70 duplex carriage homes, and The Woods Building comprised of 56 apartments, bistro, lounge and game room.
The limited on-site amenities reflect the intention that the active adult residents will avail themselves of the many resources nearby. Membership to the Lititz Recreation Center is included in the monthly fee and everything else, such as dining and housecleaning, is a la carte so that residents choose the services that fit their lifestyle.
The goal of strengthening connections to the town rather than creating an inward-focused campus resulted in the bistro being open to the public for all meals, as well as design measures to integrate the community into the existing context.
To blend into the borough neighborhood, the new satellite community features minimal signage beyond the required street signs and provides direct connections to the Lititz borough streets and sidewalk network. The Woods apartments building façade creates a design aesthetic of interconnected buildings along the streetscape. Landscaped medians further enhance the main street while aiding in traffic calming since the final phase will connect two major arteries running through the town. These measures were a major “selling point” in the Borough’s acceptance of several zoning variances including allowances for higher density residential models.
Consumer-Friendly Design Details
The diverse housing mix has no duplicate materials combinations among the 80 residences. Residents living in the apartments have access to under-building parking and a rooftop amenity added late in the design process to enhance pre-sales initiatives. The resulting flat roof area nestles between two gables at the main street for views in multiple directions. Mechanical equipment screening acknowledges that there is no “back door” for the building. Phase 2 additional housing is currently under construction and continues the initial premise of integrating the homes into the surrounding townscape.
Award: Senior Housing News Architecture and Design Awards Winner, Independent Living
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
“It had to be old.”
The Fig & Barrel Pub building, located in the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) district for the City of York, was 110 years old by the time RLPS had the opportunity to help the new owners shape it. Originally built by the York Traction Company (which would later become York Railways Company) and subsequently the home for the Edison Light & Power Company, the building itself is full of history. The interior fit-out for this adaptive reuse honors both the history housed within the brick walls and the vision of the new owners.
“It had to be authentic.”
The Fig & Barrel Pub couldn’t look or feel like just any pub. Like the bitters and pizzas made from scratch within the Pub, the building needed to feel authentic to both the city that was built around it and the business it now houses. Lighting selections remind patrons of the history of the building, evoking a turn-of-the-century feel. A tall fireplace feature was added and designed to reflect the historic industrial feel. Hard and soft seating of varied heights in bold colors complement the rustic wood of the tables and bar; the bar itself features a floor to ceiling rolling library ladder, turning the liquor stock into a display. A new production kitchen, complete with a wood-fired oven, rounds out the renovation.
“It had to have loads of history.”
The original brick was restored and turned into a feature of the interior. Instead of covering it up and modernizing it, the whole design rests on the historical material. While the building needed updating, it was important that it didn’t look like it had been modernized. On the outside facing Cherry Lane, the historic building plaque is still proudly displayed. Ultimately, this space meets the owner’s criteria that it “had to be old, it had to be authentic, and it had to have loads of history.”
Photo Credit: Matthew Tennison Photography
Waverly Heights’ community center updates focused on dining venues and wellness spaces, and also provided a more open and welcoming entry experience. The former reception area was replaced with a concierge desk and the corridor was widened to provide a contemporary seating area that reflects the vernacular of Philadelphia’s Main Line. Connections to a 100-year-old mansion on the campus are now a highlight of the first impression by showcasing the historical building’s exposed stone walls.
A Fresh Approach to Food Preparation and a New Attitude Toward Dining
The casual dining experience transitioned from a predictable cafeteria style service with behind the scenes food preparation to a front and center display of food preparation at its finest. The transformation supports dining service and production changes allowing an emphasis on farm-to-table ingredients and made-to-order selections, as well as increased chef engagement with residents. The new scatter-style food stations utilize up-to-date technology innovations to keep foods precisely hot or cold for longer times while helping to alleviate circulation issues and resulting wait times associated with the former cafeteria style set-up. Removing walls that separated the dining areas from the serving lines allowed more natural light into the space and created an open and appealing setting that elevates the food preparation process.
The updated Atrium Dining Room provides full-wait service selections, prepared in the updated display kitchen, along with courtyard views though a towering glass wall. A new, intimate scale formal dining room features a distinctive wine wall element that is visible from the corridor. All of the updated dining areas take full advantage of natural light and outdoor connections while highlighting the existing architectural detailing.
Wellness Expansion within the Existing Infrastructure
Wellness center updates included enlarging the pool to accommodate lap swimming and aquatic classes, adding a new aerobics/dance studio, and new massage and manicure/pedicure rooms as part of a relocated and expanded salon. A major challenge was lengthening the existing pool to better serve aerobic and lap exercising needs without an addition to the building. The solution involved working with residents and staff members to find suitable alternate locations for an existing art studio and clubroom to free up the needed expansion space. Fortunately, the existing structural framing allowed for a straightforward, but unique expansion with acoustic ‘airfoil’ baffles that add aesthetic appeal as well as functional value.
Award: Environments for Aging (EFA) Remodel-Renovation Competition Gold Winner
“Not only were the aesthetics greatly enhanced, this team fundamentally improved the important functions of these wonderful spaces. This remodel added interactive and highly mobile spaces versus just remodeling more “sitting areas” which is too common in our profession. This very attractive remodel draws people into the spaces and celebrates added choice and enhanced lifestyle!”
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Through renovations and a modest addition, we enlarged and refurbished the former cafeteria-style café and formal dining rooms to form distinct identities for a Village Bistro, Grand Terrace, Fireside Dining, and the newly created Atrium dining room. Shoji-style sliding wooden doors were introduced to help separate and create distinct identities between the diverse dining spaces while providing flexibility to open up the spaces for functions requiring seating for a large group. The former café is now a bistro which includes a pizza oven, coffee bar/bake shop and mini-grocery. The project also involved interior updates to the private dining room and the pre-dining lounge.
Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography
Community center updates on the entry floor focused on dining updates to increase capacity while simultaneously breaking down the scale and creating distinctive, differentiated experiences. This included introduction of bistro, pop up dining and exhibition cooking. On the lower level, the design expands the aerobics classroom, rehabilitation suite and aquatics areas. The new pool accommodates multiple configurations for lap lanes, shallow water exercise, water volleyball and deep water exercise. Outdoor connections and sustainable strategies are seamlessly integrated into the design solutions. The underutilized courtyard was transformed into a new campus amenity to create engaging outdoor event spaces to complement and enhance the dining and wellness updates.
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox PhotographyLearn more about Wellness
New Main Street amenities include a performing arts center, newsroom, bistro café, garden nursery, full service salon, wellness center, pool and spa, all have been designed to look and operate as individually branded businesses. The aquatics component includes a lazy river and water slide, as well as lanes for lap swimming. Fully operable garage doors allow portions of the bistro to provide open air seating along Main Street.
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox PhotographyLearn more about Wellness