three: living architecture Challenges Philosophy of Senior Living Design with Fresh Concept
“Oro Valley is just north of Tucson, a resort destination that is perfect for the vision we are going to bring to reality,” said Gary Koerner, AIA, NCARB, and president of three: living architecture. “The property is nestled in the valley foothills between Catalina and Saguaro Mountain Ranges, with a picturesque backdrop of vivid mountains that are illuminated in warm, brilliant colors twice a day at sunrise and sunset. With the natural surroundings being breathtaking on their own, we aimed to put together a layout with buildings that would maximize views from any point on the property, while also being mindful of the community’s impact on the environment. The result of our creative endeavors is a ‘Neo-Wrightian’ desert-architectural-style community nested into the desert landscape with unobstructed views of the nearby mountain ranges, offering indoor and outdoor living experiences.”
Nakoma Sky is a 500,000 square foot community that is estimated to cost between $90 and $100 million. It’s a sizable project featuring 220 spacious independent living apartments available in one, two and three bedroom floorplans, 24 assisted living apartments, as well as 24 assisted living memory care apartments. The five-story community will sit above an underground parking garage located beneath the independent living entry court. In addition, residents will be able to enjoy amenities in common areas scattered throughout the campus, including: resident lounges, a library, a fitness center overlooking the mountains, areas for multi-purpose use, art studios/crafting rooms, meeting spaces, a salon, varying dining venues and outdoor recreational areas.
“We’ve designed the outdoor spaces so that a series of activities may go on simultaneously throughout the community and address varying resident needs,” said Koerner. “One of the most notable functional art features is a 3,400-square-foot infinity edge pool located near an artisan’s village within the heart of the community. Residents may enjoy swimming by day, and congregate here for a vibrant scene at night. The pool features customized acoustics and lighting, as well as a mist curtain upon which movies may be projected for viewing. The artisan’s village will active pottery making, woodworking and art.”
Other artistic outdoor amenities include a sculpture garden, which you can see through a grove of trees upon arrival, a stargazing platform, a yoga lawn, courtyards, dog parks, hiking trails, fireplaces, BBQ grills, outdoor dining venues, an aerobics pool and desert gardens that enhance the view for apartments on the first floor. three made sure residents have sweeping terraces and balconies with their individual units as well. The architectural team wanted to create outdoor spaces where residents could host parties or meet for intimate gatherings. For indoor amenities, three incorporated expansive windows allowing sunshine to spill into the community, giving residents majestic desert landscapes to feast their eyes upon. The roof forms compliment the mountains’ angles and allow for tiered viewpoints. The entire design is geared toward a well-traveled active resident who wants to live life to the fullest.
“It’s more than just creating a community where seniors live, it’s about creating an environment that incorporates culture, as well as personal and social experiences,” said Koerner. “Tucson is one of the nation’s most attractive retirement environments, and it draws in active people. The larger community is noted as an artistic literary community which attracts arts and literary intellectuals, so we have catered to that in our design.”
Visionaries Lisa Israel, CEO and president of La Posada, and Joni Condi, COO and senior VP of La Posada, are working to build a community that promotes healthy aging, gives residents ample freedom of choice and creates a sense of belonging in which they may thrive. To bring this vision to life, Israel and Condi have partnered with Diversified Design and Construction, landscaping firm Talley Associates, interior design firm THW Design, and three: living architecture.
“We are excited to move from a single site community to a multi-site community,” said Israel. “We have been patiently waiting for the perfect piece of property to become available before making that transition. When we discovered this location with its stunning mountain views, we knew we had found the perfect place. The wide open spaces will allow us to create a pastoral space for people who love nature and feel it supports their spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Additionally, this property is close to the town center, which will promote a feeling of connectedness with the greater community.”
Dallas-based three: living architecture is a global leader in hospitality and senior living design and prides itself on designing unique properties of lasting significance. With more than thirty years of experience in the four and five star hospitality/senior living industry, three is regularly recognized by top industry awards for “best in class” designs, worldwide. three: living architecture has specialized in Senior Living for over twenty-one years and has overseen over two billion dollars of senior living communities project costs in twenty-eight built communities.
Forte Senior Lifestyle Group
5949 Sherry Ln., Suite 1800, Dallas, TX 75225
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