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Water’s Edge Senior Living

Bringing the Outdoors Home

Hayward’s former long-term care facility, connected to the hospital, had taken on the medical center’s institutional look and feel. So, when it was time to build a new long-term care and assisted living facility, the healthcare center and Hayward community wanted a place to call home that took advantage of a nearby lake and the natural northern Wisconsin views. What followed was a design—still connected to the hospital—that broke 50 units into two neighborhoods of five clusters. Each unit features five rooms opening into semi-private living spaces including a den, sitting area, activity area, nurse’s desk and laundry room. The design minimizes corridors and maximizes living space variety. At the center are dining spaces that can be broken into intimate areas or opened for a gathering of up to 100 people. Residents’ well-being is enhanced with abundant daylight and access to outdoor courtyards, gardens and children’s play areas.

Project Challenges

  • Listen to and take into account the needs of the healthcare system and the community.
  • Create a space to fit 100 people while honoring the project’s budget.
  • Design so that resident spaces did not open to a corridor.
  • Create outdoor views for residents without impacting views from the hospital.
  • Position the building to accommodate the nearby lake’s shoreline setback and northern Wisconsin’s vistas.

Project Process

CLS held several focus group meetings with healthcare leaders, board members, staff, residents and families to identify common goals. CLS also held separate staff meetings to understand their operations and to help them be more efficient. A working group of board and staff members shared concepts with residents to engage their feedback.

Project Highlights

  • Dining spaces were joined between neighborhoods that are a mirror image of each other.
  • Resident units were designed in clusters around a household living space.
  • The nurses’ area is centrally located in each household to reduce walking distance.
  • Each household has a porch entry to welcome guests.
  • Outdoor connections are maximized with views to forests and a secluded lake.

Why this project was successful

The household cluster design honors residents’ choice to live within their desired privacy level while abundant natural daylight enhances health and well-being. Due to its homelike atmosphere, the facility is filled to capacity, and Hayward Senior Living continues to expand.