Last Updated on

When people reach a certain age living alone in a big house can bring more hassle than comfort. For retired adults independent living can be difficult if they occasionally require immediate assistance. Senior Living Residences are a great alternative for retirees who want to live independently without worrying about maintenance. These senior living residences are for adults aged 55 and above who need minor assistance. Leisure amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, clubs, and other interest groups make these centers a pleasant place to be. Services vary depending on the residence, and some also offer daily services: meals, laundry, and housekeeping.

Lately, luxury senior living residences have started to take over the market. These establishments resemble hotels:  spas, tennis courts, golf courses, and salons make your golden years not just comfortable, but an ongoing vacation. As a result of their increasing popularity, the number of architects who specialize in designing these world-class establishments has also increased. Most of these architects have experience in designing multi-family housing units and hospitality establishments. 


 

ABHA Architects

1621 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, DE 19806

Some of Delaware’s most important establishments were constructed by seasoned firm ABHA Architects. Established in 1949, ABHA Architects is the collaborative endeavor of Erling Dollar and William Bonner. The two childhood friends honed their skills working for the design division of DuPont Company during the early days of World War II. Their years of experience working for the state’s biggest chemical company encouraged them to establish ABHA Architects. Since then, the firm has been under different leaderships but its consistent stability can be seen in its low employee turnover. Today, the firm has one of the most experienced design teams in Delaware. More than half of its technical staff are registered architects who are also LEED-Accredited Professionals.

The Benedictine Sisters have made a number of important contributions to Delaware’s community which is why ABHA Architects was honored to design the organization’s new senior living facility in New Castle County. Not only is this new branch closer to medical care, but it is also relatively bigger at 15,000-square-feet. The firm designed 14 accessible bedroom suites each has a private bath and walk-in closet. The Benedictine Sisters Monastery has its own chapel that includes a warm atmosphere perfect for worship. The residents spend most of their time in the community room in the center of the facility, near the courtyard which boasts of a marble statue of their patroness, St. Gertrude. 


Alliance Architects

929 Lincolnway East Ste. 200, South Bend, IN 46601

James Childs Architects and Architecture Design Group (ADG) merged together in 2012 to focus on designing niche commercial projects for the education and housing sectors. In honor of this collaboration, the firm was named Alliance Architects. Its namesake not only comes from the merger but also from its collaborative design process. The team of experienced architects involves its clients throughout every step of the process. Many Alliance Architects clients are from the housing development industry. In fact, the firm has made more than 10,000 living units that include senior living and public housing product types.

One of the firm’s biggest senior living projects is for a non-profit housing developer, National Church Residences. Alliance Architects was commissioned to design The Landings of St. Andrew at New Port Richey, Florida. The result was a resort-style senior living facility that has 196 units. The facility has its own deluxe amenities like its very own cinema and a separate medical services suite. 


Amenta Emma Architects

242 Trumbull St., Hartford, CT 06103

Award-winning Amenta Emma Architects is an architectural and interior design firm with multiple locations on the East Coast. Established in 1985, the multidisciplinary firm has a reputation for being a trusted commercial designer in Connecticut and New York. Over the years, the firm has designed most of the contemporary establishments in Connecticut including the CREC Discovery Academy and Lafayette Hall. It has also designed some of New York’s coolest offices for Xylem and Tip Tree Inc. 

Although the firm is more known for its commercial projects, it has also built a number of senior living facilities throughout Connecticut. One of its principals, Myles Brown, heads the firm’s senior living studio and he was recently interviewed by WTNH News 8 on his approach to designing these projects. Many residents of Thames Edge and Duncaster Retirement Community  (both recent projects of the firm) said that their facilities’ close proximity to nature and open design has helped them overcome the loneliness during the quarantine period. The firm designs its senior living facilities as sustainable communities that can operate on their own. The Thames Edge is a community of 40 individual homes located in a private neighborhood that offers personalized services to its senior residents.


Architects Alaska

900 W. 5th Ave. Ste. 403, Anchorage, AK 99501

Established in 1950, Edwin Crittenden began an architectural firm in Anchorage which operated throughout the state’s remaining territorial years and into statehood. Celebrating over 70 years of design, Architects Alaska continues to uphold the same level of excellence that Crittenden started with and has since opened two additional offices in Wasilla and Bozeman. The firm is a seasoned commercial designer capable of taking on projects of any size. Its portfolio includes a diverse list of projects from the commercial, education, healthcare, and housing sectors. Some of the Alaska’s best senior living facilities were designed by Architects Alaska.

A standout facility is the Providence Extended Care Campus in Anchorage. The Elder Care neighborhood includes 8 houses and 96 beds. Each home was designed with the Green House model of care in mind. The floorplan of every unit was designed to create a home-like environment. A great room with an open kitchen and dining room serves as the center of the space so that residents can accommodate guests. The campus also has a Commons Buildings which provides residents with services that include general stores, delivery, housekeeping, laundry services, maintenance, administration, chapel, conference/training, and therapy.


Architecture Incorporated

415 South Main Ave. P.O. Box 2140, Sioux Falls, SD 57101

South Dakota’s most experienced architects are found in Architecture Incorporated. Established in 1976, the firm’s knowledgeable team collectively has 260 years’ worth of experience and it is the largest architectural firm in South Dakota. In the industry for four decades, the firm has long been recognized by local publications as a model workplace. Prairie Business Magazine included Architecture incorporated in its 2019 and 2020 lists of 50 Best Places to Work and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) North Central region named it as an Emerging Professional Friendly Firm. 

Founding Principal Alan Richard Dempster has been with the firm all the way. His contributions to the community include designing civic projects for senior citizens. One of his most recognizable projects is Dow Rummel Independent Living Apartments. Located in Sioux Falls, this project was part of the Dow Rummel Village expansion. The apartments were given a more traditional architecture so that they could blend in with the existing community while providing for all the needs of its residents.


Blitch/Knevel Architects

757 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130

For the past 60 years, Blitch/Knevel Architects has made a mark in New Orleans by specializing in healthcare, senior living communities, universities, and religious facilities. Its offices are located in the heart of the  Arts District and its design team is inspired by its vibrant environment. Some of its other services include historic renovation, feasibility studies, code analysis, landscape design, environmental analysis, and medical equipment planning. 

New Orleans’s first continuing care retirement community was designed by Blitch/Knevel. The Lambeth House is located in the former Uptown Square Shopping Center and was repurposed by the firm. The new establishment included various senior living units and retail shops. Upon construction, the firm has received several awards, including an Award of Merit from the American Concrete Institute and a Citation for Design Excellence by the AIA.


Chancey Design Partnership

1228 E 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

Architecture and interior design firm Chancey Design Partnership provides sophisticated housing designs focused on independent and assisted living dwellings. When the firm takes on senior living projects, it creates designs that prove therapeutic for residents and staff alike: they improve residents’ quality of life and assists staff with operations. The firm’s impressive portfolio includes health care, restaurants, residential, and commercial projects.

The firm’s designs are found all over Southeastern states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. You can even find its designs in The Bahamas and Grand Cayman. But its best projects are still found in its hometown, Florida. The Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park is one of its most ambitious senior living projects. This world-class facility includes 139 units and has resort amenities like a lap pool, putting green, and walking paths. Inside, residents can spend their time in the gym, the hair salon, the library, an art studio, or a movie theater.


Curtis Miner Architecture

233 S Pleasant Grove Blvd. #105, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062

Established in 1998, Curtis Miner Architecture is a full-service firm that caters to a range of commercial clients. The firm’s namesake is a principal who has served on the boards of numerous architectural organizations in Utah. Miner has continued to serve as a principal along with 3 others, and they have led the firm to win numerous distinctions including several merit design awards from the Utah Masonry Council and outstanding project awards from Utah Construction & Design.

Located in Mapleton is one of the firm’s outstanding senior living projects, Abbington Assisted Living. This 48,338-square-foot establishment houses 63 rooms comprising 25 studio rooms, 16 one-bedroom, and 5 two-bedroom units. Amenities in this building include a cafe, a chapel, a private dining area, a library, a therapy room, a salon, and staff support spaces.


Duncan Wisniewski Architecture

255 South Champlain St., Burlington, VT 05401

In 1985, Bob Duncan and Michael Wisniewski partnered together to establish their own firm, Duncan Wisniewski Architecture. The founders have kept the firm to be small in size so they could personally oversee each project. To this day, at least one of the founders will be involved in the design and construction of every project. 

From multi-family establishments to office spaces, the firm can take on any commercial project. One of its award-winning projects is the Elm Place in Milton, Vermont. This senior housing project houses 30 units and is the first Passive House-certified building in the state. The Passive House Institute US gave three awards to this project including Best Senior Housing Project. 


Earl Swensson Associates

1033 Demonbreun St. Ste. #800, Nashville, TN 37203

Found in the heart of Nashville is an architectural firm with a holistic process that has gained national recognition. Earl Swensson Architecture is a full-service architecture and interior design firm committed to designing sustainable commercial establishments throughout the whole state. Principal Earl Swensson started in the industry designing educational institutions. When he established his firm in 1961 he quickly became a household name in the commercial industry. Many important establishments in the state were designed by the firm; the bulk of these projects were constructed for various clients in the healthcare industry. Modern Healthcare has consistently named the firm as one of the top healthcare design firms and many of its hospital projects have received awards from the Behavioral Healthcare Design and Urban Land Institute Excellence in Development Design Awards. 

Its experience in the healthcare industry has made Earl Swensson Associates a trusted firm for senior living facilities. One of its impressive projects is the Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland, a new assisted living and memory care complex. The clients wanted the façade to have a classic warm look so residents would easily feel at ease in their new home. The combination of wood and stone throughout the facility is inspired by traditional English Manor architecture. It houses 110 rooms and has 17 memory-enhanced units that are located in a separate wing. 


EOP Architects

201 W Short St. #700, Lexington, KY 40507

Rick Ekhoff and Paul Ochenkoski started their careers working for prestigious architecture firms in Chicago and New York. When they returned to their hometown of Kentucky, the two decided to start their own firm with the help of the best architects of the state. 39 years later, the partners continue to lead the firm along with six other reputable principals. EOP Architects now has two branches in Kentucky and has extended its services to 30 other states. The firm consistently receives honors for its architectural and interior design work. In 2019, The International Interior Design Association gave EOP Architects five awards and Louisville Business First hailed the firm’s Kentucky International Convention Center design as the top project of the year.

The firm has a diverse commercial portfolio that includes mixed-use buildings, healthcare facilities, civic and cultural establishments, and office spaces. Many of these projects have greatly contributed to the Kentucky community including the Vital Senior Living facility in Lexington. When the firm designed the facility, the first thing it prioritized was community engagement. The firm wanted to design a building that had accessible amenities for its residents. The result is a two-story building that has several recreational areas and is very accessible to the nearby park. 


Erstad Architects

310 North 5th St., Boise, ID 83702

Seasoned firm Erstad Architects was established 21 years ago with the goal of implementing a collaborative process that is conscious of its environmental impact while designing large-scale projects. The firm has a team of highly-skilled designers who have 127 years’ worth of collective experience. Its team is licensed in ten states and the firm has taken on multi-million dollar projects. 

Erstad Architects is the preferred designer of big commercial companies because the firm takes the time to understand the strategic business goals of a client before drafting a design. The firm wants its designs to aid the client’s end-user needs and business objectives. 

One of its successful collaborative projects is the Bandon River Senior Housing. The firm worked closely with LEED consultants so it could integrate a planting section that has a functional irrigation system. There are many environmentally-conscious steps considered when designing the technicalities of this facility. An advanced framing technique was used for the core so that waste is minimized and the highest quality insulation achieved. This project received a LEED Platinum designation and a Green Building Award from Idaho Smart Growth. 


FitzGerald Associates

912 West Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607

Celebrating a century of design and architecture, FitzGerald Associates is one of the longest-standing firms in Illinois. The firm’s body of work can be found in the iconic Chicago Skyline. It was one of the first architects to design the pioneering luxury highrises in the city. Not only is the firm one of the pioneers in luxury residences it has also designed iconic hospitality establishments like the Cedar Hotel and the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. In its hundred years of service, FitzGerald Associates has taken on every type of project but it is best known for designing establishments that can accommodate a large number of residents.

Most of FitzGerald Associates are clients from the housing industry and its expertise is best highlighted with the firm’s senior living facilities projects. These housing developments are unique because they house multiple units, various recreational areas, and, most importantly, they need to be easily navigable for residents with mobility challenges. Artis Lakeview is one of its biggest senior living facilities projects. This is the first facility of the greater Artis Senior Living Facility in Chicago. It is a five-story building with 140 units that includes 96 memory care units and 44 assisted living units. Its amenities include a physical rehabilitation space, family rooms, dining rooms, a commercial kitchen, a community center, a health center, laundry facilities, and a range of other specialized service spaces.


Gawron Turgeon Architects

29 Black Point Rd., Scarborough, ME 04074

Stan Gawron is one of Maine’s most talented artists. He’s an award-winning watercolor artist and an accomplished architect who has designed important healthcare projects for Maine. He made a mark in the Maine architectural industry when he designed the first intermediate care facility and largest continuum of care community in the state. Gawron Turgeon Architects was founded by Gawron in 1983. The firm continues his legacy of designing specialized structures for the commercial industry. Besides its professional design services, the firm’s team has LEED-accredited professionals capable of sustainable design. 

The Stroudwater Lodge is one of the grandest senior living facilities in Maine. It is an independent and assisted living community located on a stunning 65-acre site of flourishing trees. This facility was designed to be a modern sanctuary in the middle of the forest. Residents are able to live their normal lives with the convenience of enjoying premium amenities at their doorstep. Despite its secluded location, the firm designed the facility to be accessible from downtown Portland and the memory care center Avita of Stroudwater.


Gensler

45 Fremont St. Ste. #1500, San Francisco, CA 94105

Gensler is one of the biggest architectural firms in the country with offices in nearly every state. The firm has gained international recognition due to the state-of-the-art design principles cultivated at the Gensler Research Institute. The goal of every Gensler project is to improve lives through design and The Gensler Research Institute contextualizes the connection between business and human experience. The research institute’s findings have educated many other firms and it publishes an annual research catalog that summarizes the studies of more than 40 research teams across the globe. 

The firm’s research institute comes in handy when designing projects that have specific needs for its residents.  When Gensler started designing for the Fountainview at Gonda Westside, it wanted the luxury retirement community to be more accessible than others. The firm wanted the residents to be able to interact with the local community of Fountainview and still enjoy the commercial centers in Playa Vista. The result is an accessible facility with pedestrian-friendly walking paths that leads to neighboring communities. This facility has 175 independent living residences and exclusive amenities like a fitness center, restaurants, a rooftop pool and spa, and a host of educational programs. 


Hord Coplan Macht

700 East Pratt St. Ste. #1200, Baltimore, MD 21202

Multidisciplinary firm Hord Coplan Macht (HCM) offers environmentally responsible services that include innovative features that are functional and inspiring. Its efficient designs are found all over the country and it has four branches in Baltimore, DC Metro, Denver, and Charlotte. 

The firm was established in 1977 by Lee Coplan, an architect and entrepreneur. He established HCM because he wanted to apply a business centered-approach to design. He has been leading the firm for more than 40 years and he has expanded the firm’s expertise to include technical services like landscape architecture, interior design, and environmental graphic design.

Its portfolio features award-winning multifamily and mixed-use projects. The Brightview senior living facility is one of its repeat clients and two of its projects have won awards. The Brightview West End was the winner of the Assisted Living Category in the Senior Housing News Awards. This facility is an urban alternative for independent residents who want to enjoy an active lifestyle. It is a high-rise retirement community that offers residents a variety of options in size: one-bedroom, one bedroom with a den, a two-bedroom, and companion units. The building includes amenities such as a pub and cafe, a media center, a spa, a fitness center, outdoor gardens, a rooftop lounge, and a secure dementia care floor.


ICON Architectural Group

4000 Garden View Dr. Ste. #101, Grand Forks, ND 58201

In less than 20 years, ICON Architectural Group has solidified its reputation as the leading architectural firm in the Upper Midwest. Clients come back for the firm’s services presented with upfront costs and always finished on time. The firm quickly became a household name in the North Dakota industry which enabled the firm to open six more branches in different cities and states. 

ICON’s hospitality and extended stay facility designs are sought after in the North and South Dakota region. Located in Mandan, North Dakota is one of its standout senior living projects, the Edgewood Vista Senior Living Facility. Completed in 2012, this two-story facility covers 133,000-square-feet and houses 125 assisted living apartments and 18 memory care units. Despite the limited space, ICON was able to fit in luxurious amenities like a spa room, a hospitality room, a salon, and a movie theater. The second-floor dining room is also a pleasant communal area where residents can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Heart River. 


JDavis Architects 

510 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601

Bringing together communities through design has been the goal of JDavis Architects since 2001. It has established itself as a leader in developing multifamily housing facilities, urban infill projects, and mixed-use projects. On every project, the firm goes the extra mile, researching the neighborhood and building scale so it can design a project that improves its natural environment. Throughout the years, the firm has won a number of awards from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). 

Besides designing award-winning projects, the firm has also completed a number of LEED-certified establishments. A great example is its LEED-certified projects is Meadowcreek Commons in Raleigh. This affordable senior living housing caters to independent living adults 55 years old and above. JDavis designed the facility according to LEED Silver standards but it also received a USGBC’s LEED for Home Program certification. 


JSA Inc.

273 Corporate Dr. Ste. #100, Portsmouth NH 03801

Established in 1980, JSA is an architectural firm that aims to put together designs rooted in sustainability. The firm is committed to producing designs that bring a positive change to its clients without harming the environment. When designing sustainable projects, the firm upholds three factors: energy, resilience, and health. JSA is part of the AIA 2030 Commitment, a pledge that commits all signed firms to a totally holistic approach by 2030.

The firm has a technical design studio that offers planning, architecture, and interior design services. JSA consistently wins awards for its commercial projects but interestingly its senior living facilities have taken home even recognitions for the firm. Benchmark has teamed up with JSA for six of its senior living facilities. Benchmark Split Rock is a standout project that received a Gold LEED-certification. This facility has a variety of senior living options including independent living, traditional assisted living, assisted living for the memory impaired, and respite stay programs.


Kaas Wilson Architects

1301 E American Blvd. Ste. 100, Bloomington, MN 55425

Collaborative design studio Kaas Wilson Architects provides creative solutions to complex commercial projects in the Minneapolis area. Founders Link Wilson and Collin Kaas have cultivated an office culture rooted in teamwork so everyone can express their creativity without hesitation. This culture has also encouraged innovative designs that have been recognized with various design awards.

Its latest award-winning project is the Southview of Eden Prairie which was the 2019 Top Project of Finance & Commerce magazine. It is a five-story facility consisting of independent living, assisted living, and memory care units. The Southview building also has tons of amenities for its residents including an in-house theater, a library, a pub room, and a fitness center.


Lenity Architecture Inc.

3150 SE Kettle Court, Salem, OR 97301

To be gentle towards others: that is the meaning of lenity. Lenity Architecture bears its name to underline the approach it takes to collaborating with its clients. Its culture of caring extends to its team and many of its employees have been with the firm for as long as 20 years. The firm employs 50 architects, engineers, drafters, site planners, and other industry experts all licensed in different states. 

Lenity Architecture’s caring approach to design is valued by senior housing clients because its careful planning is appropriate for projects that have specific needs. One of its successful senior housing projects is Williams Place located on a 4.37-acre peninsula in Davidson, North Carolina. Lenity Architecture was greatly inspired by the facility’s serene location. The firm wanted to use the gorgeous backdrop of Lake Cornelius which is why natural gathering spaces outside of the facility were also designed. Since the facility is on a peninsula, it is tucked away from urban noise but the four-story residence is still visible from the highway. Lenity Architecture wanted the facility to be accessible to everything the city had to offer, so a pedestrian path that connects to the Town of Davidson’s network of paths was integrated into the landscape.


LK Architecture

345 Riverview Ste. #200, Wichita, KS 67203

For the past four decades, LK Architecture has made great contributions to Wichita’s commercial industry. Its diverse experience in its hometown has allowed the firm to broaden its horizons. Today, the Kansas-based firm boasts of having projects across the country. The firm is often commissioned to create a project that will boost the socio-economic status of a certain city because most of its designs are for neighborhood and lifestyle retail centers and retail stores, office buildings and campuses, manufacturing facilities and warehouses, educational facilities, churches, hotels, healthcare facilities, and recreational facilities. 

Although the firm’s portfolio has a national reach, its best projects are still found in Wichita. One of them is the Oxford at New Market Assisted Living Community. It is an elegant senior housing facility that houses 77 units and has 53 assisted living apartments and 24 memory care residences. This facility wants to enhance the daily lives of its residents by providing diverse amenities for leisure and relaxation. The amenities found inside the building include a cafe bistro, a general store, a sports bar, a library, and a multi-purpose room for various recreational activities. The outdoor patio is a great venue for outdoor movies and games, and it also has a cozy courtyard that includes a fire pit. Arbors and sitting areas perfect for residences looking for a quiet time for themselves.


M+A Architects

775 Yard St. Ste. 325, Columbus, OH 43212

Balancing science and design has been the mission of M+A Architects for the past four decades. Constant collaboration with its clients has pushed the firm to create solution-driven designs that are smart and sustainable. The firm offers its sustainable design services to a wide range of clients that include workplace, retail, mixed-use, healthcare, higher education, and multifamily—including senior living and affordable housing projects.

Aside from sustainability, the firm’s designs are always service-oriented. They are designed in order to be enjoyed by consumers outside of the client’s target demographic. The Ashford at Sturbridge is a complex project that was made to be financially accessible for middle to low-income seniors. The challenge for M+A was to design a facility with high-quality amenities at a limited budget. Instead of spending on expensive raw materials, the firm invested in durable products that wouldn’t need much maintenance. Corridors double as spaces for the library and pub area. Some smaller recreational areas were given higher ceilings to make them feel expansive.


McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

121 Calhoun Street, Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29401

Named as the 2019 Southeast Design Firm of the Year, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture has been in business since 1955 and it has remained relevant through those years. The studio-based architecture and interior design firm has helped design many businesses that reflect each client’s specific value and needs. The firm has a great reputation in the Southeast region because of its community-centered design approach in each of its studios spread across six different locations in three states.

Situated in the middle of downtown Charleston is the Williams Terrace Senior Housing. The firm designed it in partnership with David Baker Architects and the result is a facility that has 55 units that are all ADA-accessible. Before construction, Hurricane Hugo devastated the existing housing on this lot and the city redesigned this area as an urban park. A portion of that redevelopment was dedicated to this project which is why many community organizations were heavily involved in the facility’s design process. The goal was to create a facility that would be accessible to the city so residents and community members could socialize. The building was also divided into two sections that are centered around a piazza-inspired courtyard.


Moseley Architects

3200 Norfolk St., Richmond, VA 23230

Moseley Architects has remained an industry leader in commercial design since its inception in 1969. The firm has 11 offices spread throughout the Tidewater region and it is headquartered in Virginia. Its commercial design services cater to large-scale projects from the civic and housing sectors. Many of its big projects are senior living facilities. Recently, Dora Kay became the newly-appointed Sector Leader for senior living projects. She spent 20 years of her three-decade career designing senior living facilities. Her vast knowledge in this field can be credited to her tenure in Moseley Architects since 1998.

Tucked in the corner of the City of Falls Church, Kensington Senior Living is one of the firm’s most luxurious assisted living projects. The brick architecture of the facility perfectly blends with the urban streetscape of its location. Spanning over 100,000-square-feet, this luxury facility has state-of-the-art living apartments: each features its own kitchen and bath. The two floors dedicated to memory-impaired patients ensures that each resident is safe when they want to roam. There are also custom-made life skill installations that help stimulate and improve memory.


NK Architects

233 Broadway Ste. #2150, New York, NY 10279

Allen Kopelson and Ray Nadaskay established Nadaskay Kopelson Architects as a humble firm in a literal log cabin in 1972. The years have passed and this humble firm has expanded to become the top architecture firm in New Jersey and New York. Now known as NK Architects, Kopelson continues to oversee the firm with his Chief Financial Officer Ben Lee. 

NK Architects is consistently found in Modern Healthcare‘s best healthcare architecture firm rankings and it is one of the most in-demand senior living designers. The firm takes a person-centered design approach that prioritizes the wellness and security of its residents. When The Green House Homes was built in 2011 it was one of the most innovative senior facilities in New Jersey. It makes 24-nursing assistance available and residents stay in a ranch-style home that can house as many as ten individuals. The project was designed to function as a residential neighborhood with exclusive amenities like a rain garden, walking paths, and front porches. The New Jersey Business Journal gave the Green House Homes a Healthcare Heroes Facility of the Year Award.


Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc.

30 West King St., Chambersburg, PA 17201

Noelker and Hull Associates was established in 1957 and is now known as a trusted commercial architect. It has three studios found in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. IN 2014, the firm broadened its expertise by merging with King, Asbury & Associates in Frederick, Maryland. This branch specializes in conceptual planning and facility programming.

The firm’s works have been featured in various design publications. Senior Living Executive featured the Windsor House, an assisted living memory support facility. Located in Evans, Georgia, this was a hallmark project because it was the first facility designed under the new guidelines that the state has imposed for assisted living memory support. The facility has two residential houses that feature 25 units each. These two houses are connected to the main house, and the house is adjacent to a courtyard that is also used as an activity space.


OZ Architecture

3003 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205

Founders Tom Obermeier and Alan Zeigel merged their names and started OZ. Prior to establishing OZ, the partners had their own architectural firms that designed some of the most iconic establishments in Colorado. Zeigel was the other half of design firm Everett Zeigel while Obermeier was one of the three founders of McOG. In 1984, the two firms joined forces to form their firm and this partnership has quickly led to a contract with the National Park Service. For the past five decades, OZ Architecture has designed some truly memorable establishments like the first LEED-certified hospital in the country and the Zhangbei Resort in China. It boasts of completing more than a hundred hospitality and resort projects.

The firm is also known for its efficient master planning services. Through its team of 170 skilled employees, OZ is able to translate concepts into a concrete vision. The first phase of the Eben Ezer living community required skillful planning and design. The expansion of the first phase included 54,000-square-feet of improvements. The firm designed a new assisted living and memory care building that improved sensory experiences by connecting the facility with the outdoors. It has a gorgeous gardening room connected to the main building. There are also quiet rooms provided for residents with the full spectrum of dementia difficulties, including Alzheimer’s.


RDG Planning and Design

1302 Howard St., Omaha, NE 68102

In its 55 years of service, RDG has built a reputation of being the leading green architect of the Midwest. Sustainability is not merely a result of its designs but an integral part of the process. Out of its 178 employees, 26% are LEED-accredited professionals.  National publications—including Engineering News-Record (ENR) and Architect Magazine—have also named the firm as one of the top green design firms in the country. The firm has received hundreds of awards from prestigious organizations like the AIA and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). 

The Brookestone Acres is one of the biggest rehab community centers in Columbus, Nebraska. RDG designed a 68,000-square-foot facility that serves as both a long and short term rehab community. It can house more than 80 residents that are supported by staff to regain their former skills through therapy. RDG wanted the facility to have a warm vibe that would make its patients feel at home. It deployed a farmhouse theme for its interiors to give it a traditional household feel. There are many spaces for social gatherings inside the facility. There’s a large landscaped courtyard where patients can relax and feel at peace with nature. Other amenities include a chapel and a large great room for social gatherings.


REES

9211 Lake Hefner Pkwy. Ste.#300, Oklahoma City, OK 73120

In the span of four decades, REES has designed projects across 42 states and 38 other international locations. CEO Allan Parr has helped the firm grow into a complex architectural firm through his diverse experience that covers all aspects of real estate and facility management operations. He specializes in mission-critical projects that include large scale facilities like development laboratories and data centers. Under his leadership, REES has received several awards from the IIDA, PCI Design Awards, Oklahoma Interior Design Coalition, and the Associated Builders and Contractors. Perhaps its most important accomplishment is receiving the AIA Solomon Andrew Layton Firm of the Year Award. This award is given to firms that have greatly contributed to their community for the past five years. 

The Park Creek Independent Living Facility sets itself apart from other senior living establishments in Texas by offering hotel-quality residences. It was planned like a suburban townhome development to include a number of elegant amenities. The four-story facility houses 126 apartments that either feature a first-floor patio or an upper-level balcony. Residents also have parking privileges in the detached garages and covered parking lot. Additional amenities include an informal bistro, a salon, a home health office, a wellness center, a library, a media room, a game room, and an arts and crafts room.


Rosemann & Associates

1526 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108

When Don Rosemann established his namesake firm in 1987, he always went the extra mile for all of his clients. Every project would be finished on time and within budget, his dedication has resulted in repeat clients who have been with the firm for the past decade. Today, Rosemann & Associates has expanded to four offices in its major markets: Denver, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Kansas City. The firm receives regional distinction annually and, just last year, it was named as the Best Architectural Firm by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. 

The majority of its projects are multifamily complexes and senior living facilities. The Lake Ridge Senior Housing is a standout project because the firm was able to create spacious rooms despite the limited space. The facility is catered towards independent seniors looking for a home with practical amenities. Lake Ridge Housing offers one- and two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and in-unit washers and dryers. In total, there are 49 apartments available for moderate-income seniors. Each floor has amenity spaces for group activities and the main level has an inviting fireplace for cold nights. 


Saccoccio & Associates

1085 Park Ave., Cranston, RI 02910

Mark Saccoccio has been the principal of Saccoccio & Associates for the past 40 years. He has led the firm to become one of the leading firms in Southern New England. Saccoccio & Associates offices are found in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

Its portfolio includes a selection of different commercial projects that range from civic establishments to corporate offices. It can also design accommodating housing projects for the elderly. The Keats Gardens is a senior development project that was constructed in conjunction with the Blackstone Valley Development Corporation. This two-story facility includes two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments. There are only limited options because these apartments are specially designed to be aging-in-place residences. These apartments are specially adapted for residents who have physical challenges.


Shive-Hattery

222 SE Third Ave. Ste. #300, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Shive-Hattery is one of the oldest firms in the country but it has maintained its reputation of having the best customer service. The firm is proud to be in the 20% of best-reviewed architectural firms in the country. Its service-model is built on the client responses it receives every year and the firm works hard to make sure that each project leads to a long-term working relationship. Last 2018, the firm conducted a thousand customer survey: the result shows that the firm is responsive 98% of the time and it is 99% within schedule. Shive-Hattery is also consistently found on ENR‘s National Top 500 rankings. This year marks the 36th ENR Top 500 Design Firm distinction for Shive-Hattery.

Part of Shive-Hattery’s commitment is providing for the needs of communities through design. The Oaknoll Spring Street Senior Living Facility caters to the housing demand of Iowa’s senior population. This facility is Oaknoll’s largest facility to date and spans over 200,000 square feet. It can house a hundred residents and has two levels of underground parking. The main building connects to the 69 new apartments via a newly-installed skywalk. The expansion also includes new amenities: a sports pub, an informal dining restaurant, an art studio, and community rooms.


SmithGroup

301 Battery Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

The oldest firm on this list is SmithGroup with 167 long years in the business. It has always been at the forefront of architecture: SmithGroup was one of the first firms to offer multiple disciplines in its services. Integrating engineering and architecture was a bold new concept at the time but it caught the attention of a young Henry Ford who hired the firm to design his first manufacturing plants. Now, SmithGroup is a globally-recognized firm with more than a thousand industry experts spread across its 15 offices.

SmithGroup’s most recent award-winning senior living project is the assisted living and memory care facility The Trousdale, which received recognition from AIA’s Design for Aging Review. This facility was made for the residents of the Peninsula Health Care District in Burlingame, California. The 150,332-square-foot, six-story urban residence is made to adapt to unpredictable changes in the marketplace. For this reason, the firm decided to use standard modules in the unit design so the rooms can be changed according to a resident’s needs and market demands. That also allows every floor to accommodate assisted living or memory care services, or to densify the number of units on a floor.


The Architectural Team

50 Commandant’s Way at Admiral’s Hill, Chelsea, MA 02150

Award-winning firm The Architectural Team has a comprehensive set of skills geared towards different fields of the commercial industry.  Founder Robert J. Verrier has been with the firm since it was a team of only four and has grown the firm to a team of more than 90. Verrier has dedicated his career to preserving the architectural integrity of historic buildings. Through his firm, he has received more than 50 distinctions for his work on historic buildings. Recently, he received the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Award which is given to architects who have made important contributions to the historic preservation of the community. Like its founder, the firm has also received a number of distinctions: it boasts of having more than a hundred design awards under its belt. 

The One Wingate Way was a runner-up for the Senior Housing News Architectural and Design Awards. The facility includes 52 units and it was the final phase for the property. The One Wingate Way turned the property into a post-acute continuum of care for both independent and assisted living residents.  One of the main challenges was working with a narrow site and connecting it to the new Residences at Wingate. Despite its limited space, TAT was able to include several amenities like a two-story aquatic center that has its own wellness spa. Other amenities include an immersive theater, a dining room with a display kitchen, a private dining area, a living room with a fireplace, a library, a bistro, and an outdoor patio.


THW Design

2100 RiverEdge Pkwy., Ste. #900, Atlanta, GA 30328

With more than a thousand designs found all over the world, THW Design has made a mark in the housing industry. The healthcare design industry praises the firm’s community-based focus on its projects. Many of THW’s architects have been approached to tackle their community-focused design in conferences about improving residential lifestyle through architecture.  LeadingAge is a national organization with the goal of highlighting and promoting the latest in aging services. THW Design provided design and consultation services for the LeadingAge Idea House, a model home that shows all of the latest trends in the aging service industry.

An example of the firm’s expertise in designing senior facilities is the Thrive at Athens.  The exterior was given a contemporary craftsman style that had rugged themes of industrialism. Its interiors are very modern and sophisticated—a perfect contrast to the rustic exterior. This facility includes 92 assisted living units as well as additional memory care units. It was completed in August 2016 in the heart of Bulldawg County.


Urbal Architecture 

1938 E Fairview Ave. Ste. #100, Seattle, WA 98102

In 2010, Urbal Architecture was started in the humble Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle. The firm has now expanded to Nashville and has an award-winning team of in-house experts. Founding Principal Chad Lorentz has been in the housing design industry for 16 years and, for the past decade, he has led his team to a number of awards from the National Association of Home Builders.

The Merrill Gardens at Ballard is a recent senior facility project that has won three awards for the firm. Located in South Ballard, this mixed-use housing development includes Scandinavian architectural themes. Urbal Architecture went for this aesthetic in order to complement the thriving retail scene in the area. The contemporary façade was inspired by Oko Skin, has simple massing, and minimizes the complex envelope details. For its lobby, the ceilings were adorned with maple wood. A grand wooden staircase serves as a focal point.


Wier Boerner Allin Architecture

2727 Old Canton Rd. Ste. #200, Jackson, MS 39216

Wier Boerner Allin (WBA) Architecture bears the surnames of its founders Jamie Wier, Michael W. Boerner, and John M. Allin. The three friends are all experienced architects who decided to reunite and realize their dream of having their own firm. After a decade in business,  WBA Architects has two offices in Mississippi and Tennessee. 

Most of its works have been contributions to the Mississippi assisted living community. A standout project is The Blake at Flowood. The grand assisted living facility has the architecture of Mediterranean vacation mansions. It includes 120 units; residents can choose from apartment-style residences or luxurious hotel-quality rooms. The residents gather in the interior courtyard and enjoy the outdoors while remaining in the security of the facility. Despite the grandeur of the project, WBA worked closely with the contractor to maintain a cost-effective process.