Three Pillars Senior Living Communities

Dousman, WI

Master planning for Three Pillars Senior Living Communities, founded in 1905, explored opportunities for multi-generational appeal. Residential options will be expanded in multiple phases to provide more diverse lifestyle offerings to both senior and non-senior users. The design is a diverse, walkable, intergenerational village. The master plan incorporates elements of new urbanism, mixed‐use design and intentional placemaking.

Multiple stakeholder groups were engaged in master planning for Three Pillars through focus group and an on-site design charrette. Engaging Stakeholders in Master Planning for Intergenerational Appeal

Focus groups with residents, waitlist members, community members and Dousman representatives provided valuable input regarding resources and amenities to serve local residents of all ages such as a child daycare and workforce housing.  Connections will be fostered through shared living experiences—whether dining at the uniquely Wisconsin “supper club,” gardening in the adjacent agrihood or participating in events, like a pop-up farmer’s market, on the Center Green

Master Planning Principles for Multi-Phased Implementation

Master planning concepts for Three Pillars’ expansion were tested against guiding principles:

  • Greater Community Focus:  the expansion faces outward rather than focusing inward. New residences and gathering spaces are visible from the street. Each amenity space—the bistro, maker space, fitness, performing arts, pub, salon,  etc.—has its own door from the Main Street.
  • Education Focus:  community additions position Three Pillars as an educational resource for campus residents and the greater community. A new Community Resource Center is focused on supporting people living with dementia while settings such as the performance space, maker spaces and garden agrihood provide lifelong learning and personal development opportunities.
  • Nature Focus:  focus groups identified a strong affinity for the natural beauty of the campus. The expansion extends existing walking trails and improves river access for kayaking or passive enjoyment. The undeveloped portion of the expansion parcel will continue as farmland for intentional stewardship of the property.
  • Placemaking Focus:  Three existing historic, stone structures have been elevated to a central position on the new town square.  Rehabilitating these buildings reflects a respect for the community legacy while defining the next generation of campus life.

Continued Evolution of Dementia-Capable Spaces

An essential component of the master plan was supporting Three Pillars’ commitment to maintaining a dementia-capable community. Along with creating new residential small houses, the master plan calls for a Community Resource Center to serve as an asset for Southeastern Wisconsin lake country. The center will provide targeted support for campus residents and community members living with dementia and their families.

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