Master planning resulted in a multi-phased update process, with some buildings to be replaced and others reinvented over the course of several years. This began with the conversion of the 80,000 square foot Mark Manor assisted living residence into The Lofts updated households.
The former Mark Manor building had a sturdy concrete structure that was in good condition and well suited to the Florida climate. This client made the fiscally-responsible decision to work with the “good bones” and reinvent each floor to create person-centered households. The overall census dropped from 90 beds to 64 suites, 16 on the second floor for residents with dementia and 48 on three other floors for assisted living.
The dramatic changes to the building are immediately apparent with the revitalized exterior façade, updated to be compatible with new construction on campus. A variety of window types and sizes, stucco color placement to define masses, and smaller details such as railings and brackets combine to accomplish a visually appealing and renewed building on campus. Clear, insulated impact glass replaced the former pink tinted windows and hurricane shutters.
Avoiding Multiple Moves for Residents with Dementia
Despite the added challenges associated with vertical mechanical and plumbing infrastructure when renovating a middle floor, the owner decided to start on the second floor so residents with dementia would not have to move multiple times. Updates were carefully implemented to maintain utilities on other floors while replacing plumbing stacks and upgrading mechanical systems in the renovated spaces.
Due to the eight-foot floor to ceiling height, every bulkhead is functional to maintain as much height as possible while introducing outside air through a new mechanical system. The wood ceiling system conceals mechanical and existing structural components and simulates greater ceiling height.
Each floor was reconfigured to provide larger, private suites, along with expanded common household spaces. Several resident units on each floor were eliminated to gain much needed neighborhood living/dining space. A new great room was introduced for each household and larger exterior windows were configured within the building façade to increase natural light and outdoor views.
The nurse station was replaced with a full kitchen in the dining area of the great room. State of the art food service equipment was integrated into custom cabinetry and lowered counters with eased edges allow residents to take part in the chef’s culinary creations. A pantry service area is provided behind the kitchen and the elevator lobby has been re-envisioned as a foyer with a front door leading into the common living spaces much like the entry experience in a private residence.
“A great example of how to successfully work with in an existing envelope with restricted ceiling heights. The new residential style open kitchen is a great addition to the renovated great room. The elimination of the old style prominent nursing station is a great step and should be emulated by others.”
Environments for Aging Remodel-Renovation Competition Finalist, Juror Comments
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography (exteriors) Prion Photography (interiors)