Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

St. Paul's Plaza

Anchored in Place

St. Paul’s Plaza is a four-story senior community designed to give underserved people in Chula Vista assisted living and memory care that feels rooted, inviting, and homey, not institutional. Significantly, our work began by interviewing seniors and families of residents at our client’s other communities, learning how they spend time with each other and what they wanted most. Their insights inform almost every aspect of our architectural and interior design for St. Paul’s Plaza—from playground space for seniors and children, to private areas built for cooking family meals, to the landmark clock tower and massing that responds gracefully to nearby retail across a busy commercial street. A grand yet comfortable community anchored to the Otay Ranch neighborhood and open to Southern California’s mild climate, St. Paul’s Plaza is a place that belongs.

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Chula Vista, California
COMPLETED IN 2015
  • 165
  • 4 stories
  • 145,000 sq. ft.
MARKET

Senior Communities

DISCIPLINES

Architecture , Interiors

PROJECT TYPE

Not for Profit

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: Ryan Miyahira

Interiors: Cindy Schaumberg

seniorliving@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

At Home and Cared For

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

From the beginning, we wanted to create a senior living community whose identity was driven by community and whose functionality met all our client’s healthcare needs. Located on a busy street in Otay Ranch’s neighborhood center, St. Paul’s Plaza sits at a transition from retail to residential. As the architecture shifts to residential, the overall massing gradually steps down, creating a public urban edge that envelopes a more private oasis, a refuge for residents and their families, at its heart. To clearly define this edge at a human scale, our exterior design further breaks up the four-story mass with wood archways, ground-level landscaping, and textural details, especially along the retail side. A Mission-inspired clock tower rises at the site’s northwest corner, both referencing the public buildings of the late 19th Century Southwest and establishing St. Paul’s Plaza as an architectural landmark in Chula Vista. The campus’s main entrance and drop-off area, facing a quieter side street, is enveloped by beautiful, large courtyard spaces, a playground, and walking paths. At night, these central outdoor areas can be cordoned off for individual families’ use or for bigger social gatherings—movies, live theater, concerts, or the like. Year-round connection to Southern California’s outdoors was critically important to our overall design; outside roof decks, shared dining areas, and a solarium further meld the boundaries between indoors and out. Inside, a bar area and grand staircase serves as a multipurpose, pre-function space for events like choir performances. Ground-floor circulation allows access to outdoor dining, as well as upper decks above the entry and on the clock tower level. Since the residents of St. Paul’s Plaza are, on average, around 80 years old, we designed the campus with no steep slopes, giving people access to everything they need via elevator. Across the street sits a medical center and services for physical therapy; a fitness pool, exercise room, dance room, and outdoor terraces encourage exercise and social activities. For visiting families, we included small dining and kitchens on every floor, and memory care is divided into discrete neighborhoods that look like houses, complete with shared living rooms. These elements combine to give residents and families of St. Paul’s Plaza exactly what they hoped for: A homey community designed around their physical and emotional wellbeing, where they feel at home and cared for. We’re so happy to be part of that.

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Interior Story

Practical Comfort

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

Architecture Photo of St. Paul's Plaza

Ⓒ Casey Braunger

In contrast to many senior communities whose surface appearance gets in the way of real-world ease of care, our interior design for St. Paul’s Plaza is beautiful and highly functional—senior living that’s both healthcare and home. As visitors and residents enter St. Paul’s Plaza via the quieter courtyard, they pass through a series of gates—underneath a wood trellis, through a stone archway, and below a second-floor deck—all formal expressions of the community’s Spanish culture and design influences. Aesthetically, we kept to a relatively small, earth-toned palette that, while subtle, feels texturally rich and connected to the San Diego region’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Intimate, warm interior details like wrought iron and box-beam ceilings maintain an expansive overall scale yet practically beckon to be touched. Even if you don’t live here, details like these help you feel at home. While expressing such homelike details at a somewhat smaller scale, each independent- and assisted-living unit is also designed for flexibility. Every floor has its own living area with shared kitchens, perfect for family visits; notably, each residence in the memory care wing is clustered into smaller neighborhoods, each “house” sharing a kitchen and living room. Throughout St. Paul’s Plaza, this feeling of home is equally functional. Wide corridors with handrails and 42-inch doors permit motorized wheelchairs access, and heavy-duty wall coverings and corner guards support other assistive devices like walkers and canes. Between the individual residential units, doors can open to combine or separate functions, based on residents’ needs. Even the gorgeous common spaces at St. Paul’s Plaza are designed for multiple purposes: By blocking off the entrance courtyard, for example, residents can transform the dropoff area into an outdoor event space. Just inside the front doors, the bar area/pub and grand staircase does double duty as a pre-function space for special activities like choir performances. By tapping into our design team’s broad experience across sectors, in public and community projects as well as private hospitality projects, we designed St. Paul’s Plaza to feel comfortable and support people’s practical needs as they age.

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