We wanted people to feel energized and excited, motivated by both our architecture and the spaces within: this is one of the most playful and modern senior living communities we’ve ever designed.
Jewish Home of San Francisco wanted simple, sophisticated, and high-class materials applied in a contemporary way, with lots of color and texture. Each floor of the Frank Residence tells a bold story in bright turquoise, gold and yellow, rusty orange, neon green. This is far more than aesthetic. As people’s vision weakens over time, strong and bright colors become easier to see. And bold colors help residents engage more fully with their space.
We designed the studio, one-, and two-bedroom assisted living units in Frank Residents for aging in place—that is, staying in one apartment that adapts to your needs as you age. Playful centralized common spaces, inside and out, keep residents connected to each other. We place special focus on accessibility, particularly in the units’ kitchens and bathrooms, by designing for wheelchairs, easy-use fixtures, roll-in showers, task lighting, countertop height, and easy-to-clean finishes. Even the hydronic heating systems provide radiant heating, a healthier option than forced air.
Each memory care unit is designed for safe, engaged living in smaller social groups, with shared outside spaces. Their layout, lighting, and color design help memory-care residents with wayfinding and daily self-care; accent paint, for example, or backlit toilets. Our design serves both caretaker and resident needs: people need furniture and objects that remind them of home. Staff need an environment designed for safety, where people won’t accidentally hurt themselves (throughout the entire project, an alert system lets residents get help from anywhere).
To connect memory care residents to each other at mealtime, and to the full-sensory experiences of cooking, each dining area includes an open, residential-style kitchen. When they don’t want to prepare their own food, an onsite chef will cook for a resident at any time. Separate living and dining rooms—these resembling residential dining rooms, each with a family table—are designed for quality time with each other and their visiting families.
The lobby of Frank Residence, open to the park spaces, serves as a meeting place for residents and the public. Here, amid beautiful artwork, tall windows and plenty of natural light, some people socialize and mingle; other residents work in the shared business center. Common spaces provide places to read, take classes, make art, and exercise. A sleek, through-wall fireplace, tiled in vibrant fireclay, connects the living room space to the dining area, where upholstery translates colors throughout the building. The cafe amenity is a vibrant, active, and multigenerational space.
To create an ongoing sense of discovery throughout, and pragmatically, to prevent circulation on the main level from falling into static patterns, the meandering layout introduces curvilinear elements and highlights outdoor spaces as visual landmarks along the way. We removed barriers to the outdoors, with expansive glazing and frequent patios drawing indoor activities out, among the beautiful green spaces. In each private room, high ceilings and large windows provide abundant daylighting and expand residents’ personal spaces outward, from a single room to the entire campus and beyond.
Useful beauty permeates our entire design. Through color, texture, sound, and light, aesthetically and experientially rich spaces adapt to people’s various emotional needs and activities. To complement Byer Square’s focus on lively socializing, we designed plenty of opportunities for restoration through more intimately scaled natural rhythms and sensory experiences.
Our attention to serving people’s many needs and modes of engagement reflects, finally, our deep belief in equitable design. At Jewish Home of San Francisco, we created opportunities for everyone to express themselves and participate in community life at every level of care, from the diverse outdoor spaces of Byer Square to the shared amenities on each resident floor. Our senior living design not only adapts to people’s needs, regardless of where they are in life, it affirms their place as people, each one an essential part of a larger whole.