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.
Higher density replacement housing
The Parkview replaces aging existing cottages with a desirable higher density independent living option. Each three-story, 17-residence hybrid home is made up of units ranging from 600 to 1600 square feet. The balconies for individual residences are carefully positioned to maintain privacy and views. Parking is provided on the ground floor which also includes two moderately priced efficiency apartment options. Sitting areas on the residential floors provide additional spaces for casual interactions.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
Bring In Outside Community
Renovation of a former café created Health and Harrow—a restaurant, private dining room, bistro, coffee bar, and outdoor patio—to enhance campus life and help to bring the outside community into Pleasant View. This not only provides an additional dining venue for a town that has limited restaurant options, but the extra income also helps to maintain – and even increase – Pleasant View’s benevolence to its residents.
Large storefront windows replace bay windows and a rarely used vestibule just off the patio has been repurposed as two dining alcoves in the front of the bistro. Outdoor connections are highlighted with expanded windows, many with sills less than a foot above the ground, patio dining with a variety of seating options, and a renovated fountain featuring work by a local sculptor.
Hearth and Harrow highlights its local agrarian setting via hand-cut local tiles, local art, textured glass panels from a local glass supplier, reclaimed barn wood, and Edison bulbs inspired by nearby family farms. The name highlights the signature hearth feature and connects back to Pleasant View’s heritage of the family farm reflecting an operational goal to partner with local, Lancaster County food vendors and bring the Farm-to-Table movement to the community.
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Traditional Neighborhood Development: Pedestrian Friendly, Varied Housing Options, Downtown Connections
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 community.
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.
The diverse housing mix has no duplicate materials combinations among the 80 residences, includes minimal signage beyond the required street signs and features 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.
Apartment residents 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
The Villas at RiverMead provide a new hybrid homes™ option that complements the existing cottages and apartments. Taking advantage of the site contours so that the parking level is tucked into the hillside, the four-story hybrid buildings reinforce the residential scale of the campus.
The two buildings include 12 corner villas, four on each floor. Each villa, with its open-concept design and corner orientation, is thoughtfully planned for maximum flow and light. Other features include fireplaces, walk-in closets, laundry rooms and open kitchens. A modest gathering area is included on each floor to provide opportunities for social connections among residents.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
We began with a planning initiative focused on expansion to help this senior living rental community meet a growing demand for larger apartments with a second bedroom or den and more modern amenities. The design result was The Homestead, a 144,000 square-foot four-story apartment building and a two-story commons building.
This expansion project added 99 independent living apartments ranging in size from a one-bedroom, one-bath to a two-bedroom, two-bath corner unit. New common spaces include a library, courtyard, pub, living room, dining room and education center. Following completion of the new building, the next planned phase is for conversion of 45 smaller, one-bedroom apartments into assisted-living and memory care rooms.
Photography Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
Presidents Pavilion, a three-building hybrid homes™ apartment complex, is the first phase of a multi-year independent living expansion. Each building is five stories tall with covered parking as the first story. The hybrid homes incorporate a traditional brick-accented exterior to blend seamlessly into Patriots Colony’s stately Colonial Williamsburg architecture. Three distinct layouts for the 60 individual residences feature open floor plans, a master suite with a walk-in closet, full-size washer and dryers, patios and covered balconies.
Renovations to the community center focused on dining updates to provide a contemporary experience and accommodate additional residents. Casual dining, including a bistro with display kitchen and pub, were expanded and formal full-service dining received a more intimate restaurant space. An outdoor patio area was expanded to provide for al fresco dining and incorporated a new pavilion, fire pit and outdoor grilling area.Learn More About Hybrid Homes
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
The Rooster Woodshop replaced a smaller shop that was housed in a renovated chicken house. Located within the Masonic Village community, the new 8,000 square foot building consists of shop space, a receiving area, a finishing zone and showroom. The Rooster Woodshop is fully appointed with professional woodworking equipment, a commercial dust collection system with pneumatic hose reels, an industrial finish booth and access control.
The wood-framed building, clad in a combination of stained cedar shiplap siding, cedar shakes and vertical metal siding, features a standing seam metal roof and aluminum-clad wood windows and doors. Sliding barn doors segment work areas and control access. The simplistic form is complemented by quality, local materials combined to create a contemporary farm-style structure that is as aesthetically appealing as it is functional.
Constructed on top of an old barn foundation on a rural site, the simple building form perches on a ridge along a country drive. Viewed through a sparse row of trees, the wood shop looks as though it was meant to be there, now as much a part of that hill as the trees.
Awards: Award of Merit and Member’s Choice Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central Pennsylvania; Merit Award and Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase
Photographer: Nathan Cox Photography
Willow Valley challenged the design team to envision an upscale apartment model that would reflect the community’s high standards for sophisticated spaces that would appeal to active adults. Supportive design was not to be obtained at the expense of a gracious sense of vitality.
The five-story apartment community occupies a prime hilltop location allowing for underground parking as well as commanding views toward the city of Lancaster on one side and surrounding farmland on the other side. The 53 luxury residences are spacious, light-filled apartment homes featuring oversized windows, fireplaces and built-in casework. Generous spaces for gathering and entertaining include a 360 degree rooftop terrace, dining room, library, community meeting rooms and a catering kitchen for residents to use for private parties.
Award: Senior Housing News, Architectural Design Awards, Independent Living Category Winner
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
This couple sold the spacious 5,000+ square foot Queen Anne style home they had resided in for 30+ years and moved into the carriage house next door. Built in 1925 as a physician’s medical office, the carriage home offered a smaller scale, single-story living option that incorporated the design detailing and historical character the couple desired. Based on the home’s location within a Heritage Conservation District, the expansion and renovations to the Arts & Crafts style, brick carriage home had to be pre-approved by the Lancaster City Historical commission. The end result is a fully accessible residence that enables them to age in comfort and style.
Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography