Senior Living Prototypes – Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living


Our pragmatic approach creates efficient plans for developers and operators while our humanistic designs appeal to residents and staff


65,000-75,000 SF

Project Type
New Construction, 70% Skilled Nursing, 30% Assisted Living

Standards that improve experience

A national developer commissioned us to envision “next-generation” standards that would improve skilled nursing and assisted living experiences for residents, families and staff, and distinguish themselves in the market through amenities and design. The facilities would be efficient to build, maintain and replicate in various areas of the country. Our insight into senior living builds on our long history designing thoughtful buildings and interiors for hospitality, where great guest experiences depend not only on the physical environment but also on amenities and services.  

Creating a lively humanistic social center

We grouped amenities around a ground floor lounge that is filled with daylight from clerestory windows and opens onto an outdoor terrace. The lounge, acting like a “town square,” offers places to socialize with residents and visitors, have coffee or a drink, or play table games.  Collected around the lounge are four restaurants, a café and bar, theater, rehabilitation and fitness center, spiritual retreat, game room, and multi-purpose room. The character is contemporary, humanistic and inviting, with lighting and acoustics appropriate for an aging population but comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

Efficient planning controls costs

While improving the experience for residents and staff, emphasizing public space comes at a cost for developers and operators. We showed how we could increase public space without increasing the building area.  Making every inch count, our T-shaped plan reduces square footage, shortens travel distances and increases visibility for staff. The planning module stacks four skilled nursing units above three residential units. The varied bay depth allows us to articulate the massing and facades at a more residential scale than is typical.

Robert Blaser, AIA

Principal, Design Practice Leader
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Megan Luce, NCIDQ

Senior Director of Interior Design
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At Michael Graves, we create designs that clients dream of. We care not only about what we create; we care whom we create it for.