Projects

Chestnut Ridge at Rodale

Emmaus, PA

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.

Community connections

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.

Rodale legacy

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.

Unique courtyard

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.

 

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.

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

Brandermill Woods

Midlothian, VA

The 2011 master plan included renovation and additions to the Clubhouse at Brandermill Woods which allowed the community to enhance their independent living common areas by offering additional amenities that appeal to the incoming Baby Boomers and their families. No longer will a single dining venue, chapel, and stereotypical shuffleboard court be considered enough to sustain and entertain residents. Instead, the new Clubhouse amenities include a theater, party room, game room, formal dining, club room, four-season room, private dining, bistro, multi-purpose space, chapel, fitness room, aerobics room, clinic, pool, terrace dining, private garden, and greenhouse and extensive spaces meant to both support the current cottage and apartment residents and also entice future residents to choose Brandermill Woods as their home.  At the same time, 93 new independent living apartments were built adjacent to the new Clubhouse offering residents additional housing options with direct access to the clubhouse.

 

Photo credit: Nathan Cox Photography

The Osborn

Rye, NY

Multi-phased reinvention for the Osborn, beginning with an interiors master plan, encompassed individual residences and common spaces for multiple levels of care. The updates helped this provider transform outdated interiors and facilities, increase occupancy and resident satisfaction, and ultimately improve their financial standing.

Multi-phased Incremental Updates

Incremental updates to resident apartments in multiple buildings focused primarily on updating kitchen and bathroom spaces to meet consumer expectations and improve accessibility.  Recognizing a growing need, the Osborn converted seven one bedroom apartments on the lower level of one of its buildings into a dedicated assisted living memory care neighborhood. Likewise, two smaller apartment units were combined to create a new upscale beauty shop requested by residents.  Incremental improvements to dining venues, wellness areas, lobbies, corridors and other common areas have continued as part of the ongoing updates to provide contemporary appeal while maintaining the attention to detail and style befitting this historic community which originally opened in 1908.

Helping to Improve Financial Position

The updated interiors attracted new residents into previously hard-to-market spaces, which in turn enabled the provider to substantially increase occupancy and led to a more attractive investment grade rating.  The better investment grade rating generated lower interest rates and substantial savings.  The interest expense savings increased the provider’s debt capacity and provided the opportunity to issue new debt to finance additional renovation and repositioning projects.

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Meadowood

Worcester, PA

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 Photography

Learn more about Wellness

 

Tel Hai Community

Honey Brook, PA

The casual dining venue includes a display kitchen, fireplace lounge and patio seating for an alfresco option.  In addition to an exercise classroom and fitness equipment room, the wellness center includes warm-water therapy and competition-size pools. The main pool is also used by the Twin Valley Aquatic Club and High School swimming teams. The aquatics center features six lanes equipped with starting blocks, a timing/scoring system and two levels of spectator seating. Tel Hai also offers swimming lessons for all ages.

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Learn more about Wellness

 

Woodcrest Villa, Viva Centre

Lancaster, PA

Viva, often translated to “long live,” is an apt description for this welcome center focused on vitality and community engagement. Feathered into a hillside between existing apartment wings, this expansion more than doubled the size of the community center. The welcome center at the main entrance features a two-story lobby and pre-gathering area outside the new 300-person performing arts center. The fitness components of the wellness center include an aquatics center with lap pool and warm water therapy spa, a fitness classroom, cardio equipment room and lockers with changing rooms. The upper level includes a bistro, beauty shop, theater, billiards and terrace with dining grill area and bocce courts.
Awards: Publication in Environments for Aging Design Showcase

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Learn more about Wellness

 

Falcons Landing

Potomac Falls, VA

Community center updates encompassed health and fitness areas and casual dining venues. The introduction of a new café led to renovations to the adjacent clubroom. The newly appointed Compass Club offers made-to-order and grab-and-go items all day, as well as cocktails later in the day. The showpiece of the new Woodburn Café is the display kitchen featuring a wood-fired oven and grill. Other improvements include the introduction of a bakery with takeout service in the former café space, the addition of a business center for resident use, renovations to the lounge area and expansion of the rehabilitation department. On the opposite side of the community center, the renovated and expanded wellness center incorporates a well-appointed fitness gym and aerobics studio on the first floor and new health clinic, beauty salon and multi-purpose room on the second floor.

Awards: Design Environments for Aging Remodel – Renovation Competition Finalists

 

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Rose Villa

Portland, OR

Master planning resulted in multi-phased campus updates and replacement housing. Phase one encompassed 76 “pocket neighborhood” cottages and loft-style apartments over new town center spaces. Each pocket neighborhood is comprised of seven cottage homes overlooking a courtyard. The “over-under” cottages in each pocket neighborhood maximize site utilization. Main Street amenities, many of which are open to the surrounding community, include a bistro, coffee shop, garden center, art studio, wellness center and auditorium. Phase 2 includes new assisted living, replacement healthcare, children’s daycare, and additional pocket neighborhoods.

Awards: Award of Merit, AIA/LeadingAge Design for Aging Review, Honorable Mention – Independent Living; Senior Housing News Design Awards and Merit Award in the Environments for Aging Design Showcase

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography, Steve Wanke Photography

Learn more about Wellness