The Colorado Real Estate Journal, or CREJ, recently featured a piece by OZ’s own Julia Bailey in its Health Care & Senior Housing Spotlight section. The article, “Hallways as havens: Community-driven corridors,” covers the deep-seated stigmas of senior living spaces as cold and bleak, often with little or no personalization or sense of home. Julia and the rest of the senior living architecture and design team at OZ are working to change that — starting with senior living corridors.
In this feature, Julia covers several ways that architects and designers can transcend the typically bare and boring aspects of hallway design and instead treat them as opportunities for creativity, accessibility and community engagement. Beginning with the hallway footprint, curved or looped corridors can add intrigue, privacy, and even a positive wandering experience free from dead-ends. She goes on to say that ceiling design and lighting both make a big impact, with the ability to add texture and warmth with features like gypsum board soffits, indirect LEDs and surface-mounted sconces.
Hallway accessibility is an important aspect of a senior living space, and many of these buildings require wide clearances, handrails and wall protection. However, Julia writes that there are affordable and creative ways to blend these regulatory and safety features into the design, such as painting handrails to look like elegant chair rails, and blending frames and doorways for mechanical and utility rooms to make less visible.
Perhaps the greatest opportunity for personalization and creativity is in the entryway. Designers can include something as simple as accent paint on doors to elaborate “front door” façades — even built-in memory boxes and digital photo content to trigger memories and engage positive reactions.
At OZ, we are always thinking about how our designs affect the people who will use them most, and we are eager to keep this in mind with every project, no matter how straightforward it may seem.
Read the PDF Version of Julia’s article in CREJ here.