Embracing Local Heritage

New Glarus is considered the best-known Swiss settlement in the United States. So, when leaders of New Glarus Home looked to build a new senior living community on a 22-acre parcel adjacent to the current facility but just outside the village zoning district, there was no dispute the new facility would still follow the village’s requirement to incorporate Swiss architectural elements into the design. Reminiscent of a Swiss chalet, the senior living design married modern amenities with elements of Swiss chalet architecture—finials, gables and balconies. In addition, the facility is positioned to fit among the area’s hills without interfering with picturesque site lines while also allowing for future expansion. It was a challenge overcome with CLS’s careful master planning. Design centered on intentionally and strategically using the site to create a connected and separate but enclosed “village” rather than focusing on constructing one freestanding building.

Project Challenges

  • Position the building on a hillside with a steep grade.
  • Design to optimize the site for future growth.
  • Offer residents a choice of private unit floor plans and amenities.
  • Incorporate design elements to preserve Swiss vernacular.

Project Process

CLS conducted focus groups and strategic visioning sessions with the leadership team, board of directors, community stakeholders, and current and prospective residents and their families. Staff members were invited to participate in a written questionnaire and design critiques. CLS also held meetings with the New Glarus Planning Commission and design review committee to ensure ordinance and zoning compliance.

Project Highlights

  • Extensive trim, brackets and finials showcase Swiss design elements.
  • Adjoined common rooms can be opened to create a large group gathering area.
  • A wellness center includes fitness room, spa, exam room and more.
  • Spacious resident rooms feature high ceilings and natural light.
  • Balconies and other outdoor spaces provide opportunity to enjoy spectacular views.

Why this project was successful

“We are very grateful for the expertise and professional guidance that Community Living Solutions brought forth to our organization to achieve our goals for the construction of Glarner Lodge. Their sensible approach to problem solving and to any project changes was invaluable. The entire team at CLS was a pleasure to partner with to see this project become a reality.” –Roger Goepfert, Former Executive Director, New Glarus Home, Inc., New Glarus, WI