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Best CCRC Design of 2023: Rose Villa Brings Nature Indoors

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Rose Villa Senior Living has grown to include 22 acres across a garden campus in the Portland, Oregon area. Recently, the community completed the addition of two buildings at the heart of its urban core to improve resident wellbeing.

Rose Villa expanded to accommodate new neighborhoods and updated community amenities in multiple phases. Its third and most recent construction phase added two new buildings: Schroeder Lofts apartments with an included health clinic and the Madrona Grove long-term care center.

Both buildings are connected below ground and were designed to be used in tandem with one another. With a commitment to design elements of bringing nature indoors and creating a modern farmhouse aesthetic, the construction phase added residential units, a daycare and health clinic housed in the Schroeder Lofts.

To make the project a reality, Rose Villa partnered with Scott Edwards Architecture for design, Bremik Construction as general contractor and Gawron Turgeon Architects as interior designer.

By combining thoughtful design with practical use, Rose Villa recently won top prize in the 2023 Senior Housing News Architecture and Design Awards for the best CCRC category.

The Concept

With an aging health facility, Rose Villa executive team members knew that only new construction could improve the heart of its campus. In designing the Madrona Grove long-term care facility, stakeholders wanted to create an aesthetic of an actual home, according to Rose Villa Director of Strategic Operations Jim Willeford.

The effort to build the health care center and adjoining residential and amenities component was only possible following two other major construction phases at the campus, since the health care facility did not generate entrance=fee revenue. Those phases included increased amenities, a performing arts center and natatorium, along with construction of an arts building.

“It was really all towards an eye on getting to the point to build Madrona Grove,” Willeford said. “Everything else went to support the development of the health care center and so that was the genesis of the idea.”

Planning started in December of 2018 and schematic design was completed in February 2019.

The Schroeder Lofts design spanned five stories with wood framing and multi use spaces incorporated into the project. The space was also designed to include a new daycare space known as Rosebud along with the 35 independent living residential lofts. Loft units were designed to promote a sense of outdoor living, according to Tim Gordon of Scott Edwards Architecture, with large window walls, outdoor garden terrace space and large balconies. 

Designed outdoor space included a walkway with a garden, outdoor terrace that brings views of nearby Mt. Hood and downtown Portland.

The first floor was designed to include a recreation space that can serve as a lounge along with a covered outdoor arcade. A main amenity of the building is a gathering space and recreational room that includes lounge, game area and teaching kitchen.

Madrona Grove was designed as a 4-story steel frame building with a two-story residential long-term care facility offering 32 private residential units guided by the concept of small home design. To bring a sense of home into the community, designers brought in bright colors, comfortable furniture and residential lighting with outdoor space access, Gordon said. 

“The idea of home I think is incredibly important at all scales,” Gordon said. “Residents have that feel that you'[re in a home and not an institution and that’s incredibly important at a larger scale with Madrona Grove.”

To adhere to modern farmhouse design, design teams used images of popular modern farmhouse architecture and interior design to inform the project’s development.

The Construction

Project planners and contractors had to work around the supply chain issues brought by the Covid-19 pandemic during construction.

In total, construction started in July 2020 and wrapped up in December of 2022 while being just 5% over budget due to those challenges.s. Construction was delayed slightly by two months in the end.

One of the other biggest challenges during construction was the fact that the new Madrona Grove was built just feet from the old facility, with staff having to ensure licensing was in place to incorporate, Gordon said.

“The different requirements for Madrona Grove and Schroeder Lofts during construction were drastically different,” Willeford said, highlighting the challenges in juggling two buildings during one construction process.

Also during construction, designers changed the HVAC systems of the buildings due to intense wildfires that were impacting the Portland area at the time to improve air quality.

“We had incredible feedback from residents and staff and we worked hand-in-hand with the contractor throughout the process,” Gordon said. “We spent months shifting things around to make sure that when we got to construction that things went as smoothly as possible,” referring to a 3D design modeling effort during the planning process.

The Completion

After the dust settled on both projects and residents started moving in, Rose Villa reported full occupancy in the residential care home and independent loft units.

The cafe at the community is open to the public along with the daycare facility to improve intergenerational connections between staff, residents and the public, Willeford said.

“All the elements can benefit from each other and to see that after the fact, it’s been pretty wonderful to see,” Willeford added.

With popular demand for the new residences remaining high, Rose Villa maintains a waiting list for units. Another measure of success for the two-building project came in the form of data collected regarding resident eating habits. Since the addition, Rose Villa reported an increase in meals consumed by residents and engagement across the building’s multi-use spaces, Willeford added.

“Rose Villa made the concerted decision to embrace the neighborhood rather than turning inward,” Gordon said.

SHN Architecture and Design Award 2023 Judge Ric D’Amico commended Rose Villa for continuing to “set the bar for resident and community amenities.”

“From the entry to the villas beyond this addition to the community, every design decision is integrated with the overall theme of high quality and great livability. Well done,” D’Amico wrote in his commentary.

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