Piper Shores – The Meadows

Scarborough, ME

Piper Shores set out to create a unique independent living satellite community within sight of their main Oceanside Campus. It is differentiated not only geographically on a non-adjacent site, but with a unique aesthetic, feel, and programming. The Meadows provides a new option for older adults who want the benefits of living in a community of other seniors, but who aren’t ready to move onto a traditional Life Plan Community campus.

The variety of living options includes 8 single-family Estate Homes, 16 duplex Cottage Homes, and 28 hybrid Apartment Homes, supported by curated amenity spaces.  The hybrid apartment building offers a residential option connected to the common spaces, giving residents access to program space without going outdoors during the harsh Maine winters. Amenities include dining, fitness, theater, meeting space, and a clinic creating a standalone community. At the same time, additional services and higher levels of care are available across the street at Oceanside when needed.

Natural Connections

The rolling meadow, surrounded by native New England forest, within sight of the Atlantic Ocean coastline, creates an unmatched environment to live and thrive. To preserve the site’s natural charm, most residences are single-story and follow the site’s topography. The four-story hybrid and common building is tucked into the grade to maximize how much of the site could remain open meadow.

Connections to nature were maintained by including transparency wherever possible. Within each of the buildings, large storefront and corner windows are employed to feature breathtaking views of these natural surroundings through all four seasons. When you enter the common building through the front door you can see directly through the building to the meadow beyond. Corridors don’t end with a blank wall. Instead, they end with a wall of windows providing views of the surrounding forest or meadows.

While some walking paths already existed on the site, a goal was to introduce more to provide opportunities for movement, exercise, and connection. Walking trails were extended to connect the Meadows with trails leading to nearby Higgins Beach as well as a youth summer/after school camp.

Local Connections

The shingle-style building exteriors echo the familiar local New England building materials but with a simplified contemporary feel created by flat roofs and storefront and corner windows. This local connection is continued inside with the bold natural color and finish palette highlighted with art featuring contemporary landscapes by local artist Caren-Marie Michel, in prominent spaces on each floor of the commons apartment building.

The interiors reflect a distinct hospitality aesthetic desired by the owner and residents but also keep the spaces feeling homelike. This was done by keeping the commons at a smaller scale, employing cathedral or 2-story ceilings in public and main living spaces while keeping the ceilings at a lower 8′-8″ residential scale in more personal spaces.

Photo Credits: Nathan Cox Photography

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Phoebe Berks – Grant Harrity Community Center

Wernersville, PA

What began as a master planning project has resulted in the reinvention of the community center at Phoebe Berks. The new distinguished, yet down to earth atmosphere reflects their holistic wellness program.

Mind Body Spirit Food

The Mind Body Spirit Food wellness lifestyle program supports Phoebe’s holistic view integrating the “whole person” into everything they do. This encourages residents to look at their futures with eagerness by providing the tools and person-specific life-enrichment plans for each resident. Fitness spaces, multi-purpose space with stage, theater, library, and multiple dining venues are specifically designed and programmed to support this lifestyle initiative.

Chef placing pizza in pizza oven Reorganized Spaces

The reimagined community center includes a comfortable open seating area inside the front door that features a coffee shop with grab-and-go snacks and light meals adjacent to the library with a variety of seating for the ultimate coffee shop experience. This lobby space was formerly dominated by a large “command station” desk with a dining space behind gates.

The former main dining room has become a variety of complementary venues including the casual Bistro 422 featuring a pizza oven and plenty of seating for family and friends. The new outdoor dining patio is popular in temperate weather while the Belle Alto formal dining is available for more traditional served meals. The all-new pub is an active pre-dinner space connected to the bistro and adjacent to the popular game room.

Flexible Spaces

The reorganization of space allows one kitchen to serve multiple venues. This adjacency also allows for flexible, gently screened dining spaces that can adjust as needed.

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Givens Estates – Oxford Commons

Asheville, NC

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.

Village at Penn State – Palmer Park

State College, PA

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 (UBRC).  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.

Waverly Heights Community Center Updates

Gladwyne, PA

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!”

Juror Comments

Photo Credit:  Nathan Cox Photography

Fellowship Village

Basking Ridge, NJ

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

Meadowood Senior Living

Worcester, PA

The first step in implementing a campus-wide master plan was updating first impression spaces in the community center. A porte cochere was added outside, while inside the main lobby the focus has been redirected to social areas with the receptionist desk reconfigured as a concierge-style gesture. The café was reconfigured to create a distinctive bistro experience. The library was re-envisioned as a club room to better support the adjacent multi-purpose room. Stairs leading to lower level activity areas were opened up to draw attention to those spaces where finishes and furnishings were updated to maintain a consistent design aesthetic.

The second phase involved creating new venues and breaking down the scale of the dining experiences, as well as expanding and improving wellness venues. 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.

Award: Environments for Aging Remodel/Renovation Competition, Finalist

Photo Credit (afters): Larry Lefever Photography and Nathan Cox Photography

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The Village at Rockville

Rockville, MD

Multi-phased renovation of the existing 300-bed nursing center includes the conversion of the first floor to 50 assisted living residences and common areas including an 18-bed memory care household with its own courtyard garden. A “Main Street” of activities developed on the first floor includes a library, bank, fitness area, coffee shop, gift shop, beauty shop and chapel. The addition of these assisted living services will fill the intermediate level of care between the existing residential living program and skilled nursing facility and will enable The Village at Rockville to become a full-service Continuing Care Retirement Community.

Award: Exhibition and Publication in AIA/LeadingAge Design for Aging Review


Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Longwood at Oakmont

Verona, PA

This LEED Silver Certified apartment building and clubhouse project is positioned on a hillside with views of Pittsburgh and the Oakmont Country Club. The clubhouse provides varied dining options including a bistro with display kitchen, formal dining with terrace seating, hearthside dining and a lounge area. The apartment building includes a fitness room, creative arts studio and multi-purpose rooms. This LEED Silver Certified apartment building and clubhouse project is positioned on a hillside with views of Pittsburgh and the Oakmont Country Club. The clubhouse provides varied dining options including a bistro with display kitchen, formal dining with terrace seating, hearthside dining and a lounge area. The apartment building includes a fitness room, creative arts studio and multi-purpose rooms.

Awards:  LEED for Homes Silver Certification

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Coburg Village, the Lutheran Care Network

Rexford, NY

Master planning resulted in the expansion of this 55+ rental community including 78 one and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 826 up to 1,179 square feet. The new apartments provide larger living spaces, introduce open kitchens with breakfast bars and offer screened-in porches and balconies. Expanded community areas include a new Parisian-style bistro offering tableside service and patio seating, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a large auditorium for musical performances, speaker presentations, parties and other functions. Also featured are a specially designed art studio and an expanded chapel to accommodate a variety of denominations.

Awards: LEED for Homes Gold Certification