Senior living facilities have come a long way in a short period of time. While changes in development and design concepts have been underway for some time now, the pace of innovation has accelerated in the last few years.
Today, potentially transformative design trends include everything from multipurpose spaces designed to accommodate different resident activities and host events; to service offerings/lifestyle amenities like on-site fitness centers and salons; a wider range of restaurants and flexible dining concepts; and strategic layouts and floor plans. The overall trend is to facilitate a more active and engaged lifestyle and transform institutional into experiential.
Quality of Place
Some of the changes we are seeing in senior living design mirror broader design trends in residential and commercial development, such as the movement away from cookie-cutter concepts and making a concerted effort to design and develop site-specific structures. Today, we are seeing more spaces that are thoughtfully integrated into the landscape, consciously designed with an awareness of sun and shadow and a desire to preserve and present appealing views and vistas for residents. While these designs are thoughtful to the natural habitat, they also enhance the quality of place for residents.
With the level of care these facilities require, they’re significantly more expensive for residents than market-rate housing. To make senior living facilities more affordable for residents, owners and operators need to be strategic on ways to cut costs. Designing efficient unit sizes and proportions, favoring simpler designs that utilize standard dimensional precut materials and leveraging efficient structural spans to reduce the quantity of construction materials are a few ways to be more budget-conscious. Also, prefabrication of building components offsite can speedup and streamline the construction timeframe. Another effective approach is to eschew elaborate exterior flourishes in favor of inspired interiors. Senior living is fundamentally inside-out, and budgetary priorities should reflect that. [Read more…]