Phoebe Ministries identified Emmaus as an underserved market opportunity for a satellite community. Following the sale of the Rodale publishing company, the 38-acre headquarters was vacated. This unique property led to the vision for Chestnut Ridge at Rodale, a wellness-focused residential community for ages 62 and up that embraces the Rodale values of melding fitness, organic dining, and wellness.
The community will evolve in phases, beginning with adaptive reuse of the former Rodale offices into 122 apartments. The three-story office building will be converted into one and two-bedroom apartments with a center courtyard. An adjacent one-story office building will be replaced with a four-story, horseshoe-shaped apartment building featuring views of nearby South Mountain.
The vacated office campus provided a unique opportunity to engage with the town while creating a distinctive, pedestrian-friendly campus that continues Rodale values relating to health and vitality. An existing onsite childcare center will continue operation and Phoebe intends to develop intergenerational programming. An adjacent service garage that was most recently used as a farmer’s co-op has been converted into the welcome center and sales office. When Chestnut Ridge opens, this building is envisioned to function as a farmer’s market. Likewise, a former warehouse now houses a full-size apartment mock-up, with future plans for it to serve as a resource for the greater community, potentially housing the Emmaus Arts and Innovation Center.
Chestnut Ridge at Rodale will maintain and enhance the walking and biking trails on the campus while creating new amenities including an amphitheater for both residents and neighbors. Construction will seek to limit the disturbance of the existing green space, take advantage of existing parking lots, and promote residents’ experience of the natural setting.
Building on the Rodale legacy, Phoebe will include raised gardens, programmed courtyards, and walking trails connected to the adjacent nature preserve, as well as sustainable features such as a green wall at the new exterior entrance into the courtyard in the former office building and a green roof for the natatorium. A new amphitheater transitions up to the park and the design concepts maintain the existing trees as a backdrop to the amphitheater.
Technology to support aging in place
All apartments are equipped with smart technology infrastructure and include a base package with lighting and temperature controls that can be supplemented with additional features at move-in or in the future as needed. Residents can choose from a wide array of options for supportive technology, social connections and health tracking/monitoring with the expectation that more features will become available as the technology continues to evolve.
Opening up the center of the former office building provides daylight and views for the converted apartments. The design literally cuts a hole in the center of the building, replacing an enclosed atrium with an open courtyard. A green wall made up of live plants highlights the new opening and is visible from the street. Storefront windows with boxed-out bays and French balconies extend outdoor connections for the homes and help prevent the narrow courtyard space from feeling constricted.
A panelized façade system and a row of trees further help to create an appealing human-scale ceiling for this courtyard which features raised gardens for resident and dining program chef use. In the new building, apartments are sequentially angled in a horseshoe formation for expanded views. The fourth-floor apartments have a taller sloped living room ceiling with transoms above the patio door for even more light.
A new active adult community will evolve in phases, beginning with adaptive reuse of the former Rodale publishing company offices into apartments. The property is currently in the development phase so the sale office and model apartment are critical tools to help achieve the owner’s vision for a new residential community that embraces Rodale values of melding fitness, organic dining and wellness
An adjacent garage building, previously used by Rodale as a farmer’s co-op, has been converted into the welcome center and sales office. A former Rodale warehouse now houses the full size mock-up of a model apartment. The interior design of the welcome center maintains the existing building’s industrial aesthetic complementing the contemporary agrarian theme planned for the new community. Hospitality and technology are comfortably integrated to provide an appealing experience. Interactive touch-screens are combined with artfully arranged presentation visuals to help prospective residents explore floor plans, finish options and community amenities. The space is designed for flexibility to accommodate individual visits as well as special events hosting larger groups.
The model apartment helps visitors envision the scale, finishes and layout of a typical residence. This mock-up space was staged to show a functional and attractive furniture layout for the apartment model floor plan, with accessories added to for the visual appeal of a comfortable, contemporary home.
Campus Master Plan
Campus master planning for the 283,000 square foot, multi-level high school building and 50-acre site focused on updating and right-sizing spaces to better support enrollment, curriculum, and athletic programs. The final plan envisions $34 million of campus-wide updates to be incorporated in multiple phases of construction.
Client Involvement in the Campus Master Planning Process
Master planning began with a series of visioning sessions with the steering team and teachers/athletics staff. To refine program goals based on current best practices, these sessions included a collaborative presentation and discussion of educational facility trends and review of the local educational market. Design concepts were then presented at two design charrettes. The steering team was integral to this collaborative review process, providing regular input and guidance for program direction and plan refinements. The final master plan concepts were consolidated into a comprehensive report and formally presented to the board of directors. The report provided the framework for long-range campus master planning initiatives, as well as documentation of Phase 1 priorities, design concepts and cost estimates.
Defining Program Goals for Future Viability
The steering committee established a baseline for enrollment, educational curriculum and athletic program goals moving forward into the future. The committee reviewed overarching goals for how to deliver education and holistic student well-being. The discussions tied into teaching philosophies, opportunities for future ready learning programs and implementing tools to meet the needs of the whole student, not just at the educational level. A concurrent assessment of the existing buildings identified infrastructure needs to be addressed in conjunction with facility updates to improve accessibility, define operational issues and achieve program goals.
A Campus Master Plan Framework for Multi-Phased Updates
The final master plan is organized into smaller, attainable projects and program changes culminating in a comprehensive set of defined updates. The steering committee established immediate needs and long- range goals through the charrette process which helped to establish the overall educational speciﬁcations. Requirements were set for each department and approach to the overall facility and campus. The campus master plan solution establishes campus ministry, engineering/robotics, IT/AV, Large Group / Small Group, maker space and arts neighborhoods to reinforce those educational priorities. A building addition will pave for the way for a new Retreat Center and the learning commons will be reconfigured into an adaptable social hub for a variety of learning styles and gathering opportunities. Other improvements, such as a new elevator and entry experience, address current accessibility, wayfinding and security issues. An expansion to the gymnasium/arts building will allow for a new cardio and weightlifting suite. Site improvements include a fitness trail, tennis courts, stadium turf field and archery range.
Renovations and additions to the existing CCRC campus were needed to provide new skilled care, assisted living and rehabilitation small houses, an increased number of independent living units, a new wellness center, and appropriately sized support services. The master plan lays out a multi-phase plan to add new independent living hybrid homes and small houses for skilled care, short-term rehab and assisted living. Cosmetic upgrades to the older buildings will be undertaken initially to improve the quality of life for existing residents until later phases of replacement housing are implemented.
This project involved the expansion and partial renovation of the CCRC campus within its current boundaries. The expansion of the independent living apartments and a wellness center, new assisted living specifically for memory care, and converting the current memory care into assisted living were all specifically requested. The final master plan detailed multi-phased clubhouse dining expansion and update, and skilled care improvements including a dedicated short-term rehab neighborhood addition.
Master planning for Phase II expansion and the ultimate built-out of the 87 acre site for this CCRC focused on three major additions: 20 skilled care and 6 assisted living rooms, 24 apartments and a multi-purpose room. The final solution envisioned skilled care households with the existing skilled care converted to assisted living. The master plan also envisions a combination of patio homes and higher density hybrid homes for future campus development.Master planning for Phase II expansion and the ultimate built-out of the 87 acre site for this CCRC focused on three major additions: 20 skilled care and 6 assisted living rooms, 24 apartments and a multi-purpose room. The final solution envisioned skilled care households with the existing skilled care converted to assisted living. The master plan also envisions a combination of patio homes and higher density hybrid homes for future campus development.Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Master planning for Presbyterian Homes involved evaluation of services and existing infrastructure at several campuses located in and around Chicago. The Moorings at Arlington Heights is the first campus for implementation. Strategic planning for this campus focused on rightsizing the property by optimizing the ratios between the levels of care and product offerings. The result is a new assisted living residence, an assisted living memory care residence and a new chapel and commons spaces. Plans for future phases encompass additional apartments and duplex cottages.Master planning for Presbyterian Homes involved evaluation of services and existing infrastructure at several campuses located in and around Chicago. The Moorings at Arlington Heights is the first campus for implementation. Strategic planning for this campus focused on rightsizing the property by optimizing the ratios between the levels of care and product offerings. The result is a new assisted living residence, an assisted living memory care residence and a new chapel and commons spaces. Plans for future phases encompass additional apartments and duplex cottages.
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Campus planning for five CCRCs in Indiana and one in Ohio provided a forum for review of the existing properties and infrastructure and development of individual master plans that align with Greencroft’s long-term strategic vision. The design solutions for the six communities, ranging from 38 to 1,150 residents, encompass skilled care, assisted living, memory care, independent living options, commons spaces, and unique opportunities such as a seniors’ outdoor adventure camp, senior oriented RV park and a maple-syrup production facility. We developed a new carriage-home style of hybrid home which provides an affordable option for a ground floor parking garage.
The Langford at College Station is a successful model for serving a secondary market that at its current size could not sustain a typical life-plan community, but is strong enough for a smaller scale community to thrive.
Recognizing market size, a nearby sister community and the challenges of a greenfield development in today’s marketplace, MRC opted for a first phase smaller CCRC / Life Plan Community enhanced with existing resources in the surrounding community. Partnerships with a local country club, the church next door and MRC’s Bryan community supplement on-site services allowing for less initial financial commitment. Phase 1 includes hybrid homes in the form of condo-style flats with under building parking and interior corridor links to the clubhouse. The clubhouse also connects to assisted living suites and a memory care household. Skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation will be provided through a partnership with the sister community.
Hybrid Homes 2.0: Corridor Links to Clubhouse
Developing the community around condo-style hybrid flats allowed for connections between the homes and the clubhouse. The hybrid homes, like the rest of the community, are a smaller scale model than traditional apartment buildings. These residences provide many of the benefits typically found in cottage homes such as covered parking, multiple exposures and private outdoor space, but like many apartment buildings are connected back to the clubhouse for easy and comfortable access to community amenities.
The design of the hybrid homes provides an intimate setting for neighbors to get to know each other since each building has its own “gathering room” for parties, card games, etc. Each residential floor is comprised of six condo-style flats, which eliminates long hallways, increases resident privacy and provides a small scale setting that fosters interaction and a sense of community.
Learn More About Hybrid Homes
Awards: Featured in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Photo Credits: Nathan Cox Photography and Alise O’Brien Photography
The master plan expands the 1960s-era community through a series of new and repositioned structures. The entrance road will be adjusted for a more direct path to the new campus front door leading into a new lobby, bistro, marketing suite and multipurpose room. Campus additions include an apartment building, duplex and over/under four-plex cottage neighborhood and townhomes creating a pocket neighborhood and courtyard. Renovations will create an additional dining venue, fitness center, spa and multi-purpose spaces. Assisted living will be expanded to include memory support residences and skilled nursing renovations will create separate neighborhoods.