Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 46

EFA DESIGN SHOWCASE

Style and substance
The EFA Design Showcase jurors share what they saw in this
year's submissions, including households gaining ground, ageless
interiors, and lots of community engagement
BY JENNIFER KOVACS SILVIS

he annual EFA Design Showcase serves
as a broad view of the senior living
design industry. The projects beginning on
page 57 range from small amenity spaces to
sprawling continuing care retirement communities, supporting independent living (IL) on up
to skilled nursing. But if there's one noticeable
marker for what many of them have in com-

settings. "Household model transitions were
everywhere, and this is huge. It's not easy to accomplish in existing physical space or in operations, yet both seemed to be the new standard,"
says BJ Miller, president of The Vision Group
(Asheville, N.C.). "It's remarkable how far we've
come," adds Maria Lopez, director of design at
JSR Associates Inc. (Catonsville, Md.). "I think

mon this year, our competition jurors say it's a
continued departure from what once defined
this space.
"The projects that were submitted and well received by the jurors shared a palette of rich colors
and textures, nontraditional architecture, and fun
amenities, all while feeling functional, warm, and
inviting-places you can see yourself living in,"
says Mike Harris, president of Cornerstone Senior
Living LLC (Augusta, Ga.).
Style defined much of the award winners and
finalists, with modern, hospitality-driven aesthetics seen across project types. "They're definitely
trying to update and open up spaces to attract
younger residents for independent living and
appeal to family members for assisted living/
memory care. Themes include more dining venues, more light, more openness, and, to some
degree, a more contemporary design," says
Rick Hunsicker, vice president of sales services
for Love & Co. (Fairview, Texas).
From the small details (age-appropriate furniture that's scaled properly, finishes with good
visual contrast) to big ones (projects executed
well and exhibiting a cohesive team effort), the
Showcase jurors shared an inside look at what
a review of the 2018 crop of projects tells them
about where we are today. Perhaps most important among those observations, though, were
obvious efforts to better support residents' lives
and facilitate a sense of vibrancy.

the submissions tell a much different story than
what is typically happening in the field, but it's
the story that we want to emulate."
And while those efforts were observed, the
jurors also say there's more work to be done.
"There were some nice refinements of the household model that came through, but there were
still too many traditional designs that indicated a
future of institutional living for many older adults
who need a care setting. While the jury celebrated those organizations that made a significant
commitment to the people they serve by committing real resources toward the development
of person-centered environments, we still saw
evidence that old habits (and designs) are hard to
shake," says Steve Lindsey, CEO of Garden Spot
Communities (New Holland, Pa.).
At the heart of this debate is double-loaded
corridors and how resident rooms were sited
in relation to the common spaces. Although
double-loaded corridors present a solution for
creating efficiency and maximizing square footage, jurors say that the layout also led to limited
light reaching interior spaces and units that could
seem more medical than residential.
"It felt like 50 percent of the industry is on
board with creating homelike environments by
trying to eliminate the homes off of the doubleloaded corridor, creating an open plan with clear
sight lines for staff and wayfinding for residents.
The other 50 percent takes the approach to
locate the units away from the common areas
in a corridor," says Joseph A. Billig, senior vice
president, architecture, at Touchmark Development & Construction (Beaverton, Ore.).
Elsewhere, IL was noted as staying the course
with more hospitality-driven models in place,

The foundation
Operationally, jurors say they saw a concerted
effort by owners and operators to embrace
household models and resident-centered care,
particularly in skilled nursing and memory care
46

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2018

although some projects progressed toward using
larger floor plans and raising the bar considerably
on amenity spaces. At the same time, more of that
high-end service and aesthetics model was seen
this year in assisted living (AL), as well. "Assisted
living is moving with more conviction toward an
independent living hospitality model, in lieu of the
neighborhood or small house model. It seemed to
be tugged in both directions for several years, and
is now tilting," says David Dillard, president of D2
Architecture (Dallas).

A design departure
As lines blur operationally, visual differences
between community types were less noticeable,
as well, says Dean Maddalena, founder and
president of StudioSix5 (Austin, Texas): "Now
I think designers and owners understand that
design quality has to be consistent through all
levels of care."
And although overall style progressed across
the projects, the most notable differences were
seen in IL and AL, which are skewing further
away from traditional design approaches. "These
projects look less like senior housing and more
like market-rate condos and resorts. Urban infill
projects and exteriors with playful forms and
geometry and creative use of materials have
replaced the woody walk-up with the tell-tale
porte cochère that screams senior living. Amenity
spaces are sophisticated, reaching for high design-not senior design," Billig says.
In fact, many of the projects illustrated an effort
to design without age in mind at all. "The use
of vibrant color and great texture, incorporating
inspired art, creating connections with nature,
using a variety of seating types, etc., was inspiring because it indicates that we can design for
people-not just older people," Lindsey says.


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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2018

Environments for Aging - Spring 2018
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Photo Tour
Community
Higher calling
Welcome
2018 jury/award winners and finalists
Style and substance
Life well lived
Leading the way
Making the cut
Pushing boundaries
Project directory
EFA Design Showcase
The Spark
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2018
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Cover2
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 2
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Contents
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - EFAmagazine.com
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Show Talk
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Bulletin
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Photo Tour
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Community
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Higher calling
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Welcome
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 2018 jury/award winners and finalists
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 45
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Style and substance
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 47
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Life well lived
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Leading the way
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 51
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Making the cut
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 53
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Pushing boundaries
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 55
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Project directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - EFA Design Showcase
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - The Spark
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/fall2020
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