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Environments for Aging Conference Takaways

HDG Managing Director Daniela Maniezzo and Senior Designer Betsy Penaherrara attended the Environments for Aging Conference in Atlanta last week and have shared a several insights and takeaways with the team about this event . HDG interior design team members have attended this event for several years now and always benefit from the multi-day event. This year’s “Ultimate Education, Networking, and Product-Sourcing Event in Senior Living Design” was no different.

Tour of an Urban Senior Living Community

Daniela and Betsy arrived ahead of the conference to take part in a great community tour of an urban-based luxury senior living facility that exemplifies how creative solutions can drive successful results. Heartis Buckhead is a high-rise building with 213 independent living, assisted living, and memory care residential homes.

The tour underscored the challenge posed by the limited footprint, urban zoning requirements, and setback regulations, which necessitated careful planning by the project team. The result was an 18 residential floor tower above ground with six levels of valet parking below grade. These components were seamlessly integrated with the existing medical office building, around which the Heartis Buckhead community was constructed.

Mind the Chatter

There was a great opening keynote presentation from Dr. Ethan Kross about “Chatter”, which refers to the constant stream of negative, self-critical, or repetitive thoughts that can plague our minds and impact our well-being. He posits that the most important conversation we have each day isn’t with our boss, our spouse, or our friends: it’s the one we have with ourselves. When we’re facing a challenging task, our inner voice can motivate us and help us keep our focus. He offered strategies to transform our self-saboteur, determined to undermine our success, into an internal life coach that will buoy us up and help us expand our potential.  The takeaway was a laundry list of practical strategies and techniques for managing the inner chatter and improving emotional resilience.

So much to take in, so little time!

The packed agenda posed a problem for the HDG duo: Which sessions to attend? In the end, they wisely separated and took in such wide-ranging topics as “Designing for Purposeful Programming”, and “Building Bridges of Connection” and “The Next Generation of The Green House Model.” The good news is, Daniela and Betsy were able to debrief after sessions and share learnings right then.

Aging, Accessibility, Autism and Dementia: Designing for Everyone?

Daniela’s other favorite session was one that addressed the concept “Designing for Everyone.” Hosted by Dr. P.K. Beville, it covered consideration of the capabilities of residents, patients, and the public. Care professionals’ experience with Americans with Disabilities Act  Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) has taught that incorporating accessibility solutions benefits everyone. The panel explored the benefits of incorporating elements of inclusion, equity, and diversity to improve all healthcare environments.  And Dr. Beville emphasized the importance of empathy-driven design in creating environments that promote dignity, autonomy, and well-being for individuals with cognitive challenges. She shared insights from her research and practical experience, highlighting the unique needs and perspectives of this population and offering strategies for designing spaces that are intuitive, supportive, and inclusive.

Vendor Information

Arriving back at the office, Daniela and Betsy kindly shared not just their impressions and learnings, but also a number of brochures from vendors the team will want to know about for future projects. From medical equipment to lighting and art to furniture, it’s all been arranged for a quick read by anyone in need of such information.

Do you have an active adult or senior living project in the pipeline? Reach out to us to schedule a meet and greet and learn about our award-winning capabilities today!

Affordable age-restricted multi-family communities can be

Want to see what affordable multi-family age-restricted communities can be?

As interior designers of multi-family communities in all economic categories, our approach to affordable housing comes from the following beliefs:

  • We believe that affordable housing works when it provides more than just a place to live, when all stakeholders are committed to making a long-term investment in our community and in the health, safety and well-being of residents.
  • We believe that affordable multifamily buildings that look, feel, and live like market-rate apartments promote a sense of place and self-worth.
  • We believe that a beautiful home fosters feelings of sanctuary and elevates pride in one’s surroundings.
  • We believe that the connection to nature enhances wellness and it is our duty as design professionals to merge the built environment with the natural world.
  • We believe that through collaboration and design excellence, we can create engaging, healthy, energy-efficient, affordable homes for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • We believe that solutions take shape when caring professionals partner for the good of our community.

This charming 62-plus high rise multi-family community is nestled on a quiet block within Rockville Town Center, a walkable community. Residents enjoy the village green, restaurants, shops and cultural centers. The design is light and fresh and uses biophilic patterns throughout to enhance the health, happiness, and wellness of the residents.

Check out the following video walkthrough for more about this lovely residential community:

If you’re considering development of a new multi-family project, whether affordable or luxury, workforce or market rate, contact us to learn how our interior architecture / interior design services can enhance the tenant experience and your KPIs.

Designing Mixed Generational Multi-Family Buildings

 

The multifamily apartment market generates a vigorous $173 billion in revenue from rental income in the U.S. according to National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council statistics for 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau reports this sector houses more than 43 million renters or 35% of all households nationwide.  Such a competitive environment demands that apartment building owners provide quality housing along with truly innovative products, services, and amenities. According to Apartments.com, nearly 60% percent of respondents prefer to rent, since this provides them an opportunity to enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle combined with convenient access to amenities.

As of 2020, there were approximately 73 million Americans aged 20 to 34 (the prime years for renting) according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and from it’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2020, there were approximately 42 million households in the United States headed by individuals aged 55 and older. Of those 55 and older, many are empty nesters. Today’s Empty Nesters are healthier and more active than at any time in the past and many will opt to rent, preferring simple luxury living that comes without the burdens of homeownership.

In actuality, the amenities that both groups look for in a property are quite similar. Transcending age, today’s educated renter expects a multitude of amenities including fitness centers, business centers, dog walks, pet spas, socially-active lounges and lobbies, club rooms, game rooms, bike storage, and workshop, as well as great outdoor living spaces and swimming pools…all with an atmosphere that equals the quality of a fine hotel. So the idea is not to necessarily target a specific age group but to design for people of different generations with common interests.

Millennials, Generation Y, Generation-Xers and Empty Nesters alike have demonstrated that they prefer hanging out in groups and like to participate in social activities frequently. Yet people also want to feel comfortable spending time alone in public areas. Whether indoors or out, defined intimate spaces provide cozy areas for groups as well as for the resident who is solitary yet prefers a social setting.  Regardless of age, amenities with options for both singles and groups create socially-active spaces that provide a sense of home and community.

The Avant at Reston Town Center, a project HDG completed a few years ago, demonstrated that a mixed-generational design approach is successful.

“The vision for the Avant, architecturally and operationally, was developed with a multi-demographic focus,” Rich Ellis from Boston Properties said. “Market studies and the Company’s experience in the Town Center told us that the project would attract a wide range of prospects, from young professionals to empty nesters to divorcees to corporate users seeking a home 5 nights a week. The goal was to create a community and building that made each of these groups feel comfortable while also tapping into their shared interests.” 

Hartman Design is currently working on another multi-generational multifamily community, One University. In addition to an affordable senior independent living community, the complex has a market-rate family building and a student housing building (which HDG did not work on) as well.

Realizing that the mixed-generational trend in housing will continue into the future, at HDG, our design approach for residential buildings is creative, holistic and practical.  Considering the needs of various age groups is important, yet finding the common thread allows for design that will bring generations together.

At Hartman Design Group, we take pride in delivering exceptional multifamily interior design solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can elevate your next project to new heights.