West Caldwell, New Jersey - This four-faceted campus expansion project added 92 independent living apartments, ten new cottages, created a new, 18-bed dementia wing, and renovated an existing campus healthcare center, adding 48 assisted living beds, a new dining room, and a new activity room.
The independent living additions include under-building parking garages. Both floors of the new building are attached to the existing independent living apartment building with access through common corridors to the existing community center. The architecture was designed as an upgraded version of the campus’s existing apartments. Each new unit has a screened porch, and due to their carefully planned orientation, the large majority of units enjoy a view of a newly created pond and the protected wetland forest beyond. The new cottages were clustered in a small neighborhood. They, too, were designed to fit harmoniously with the existing cottages. Each new unit was given a two-car garage, a front porch and another spacious, screened porch.
The new dementia wing has a residential atmosphere with home-like, comfortable living spaces that give the residents the opportunity to live safely in a structured environment. Maximized natural light, logical wayfinding, easily facilitated care, assembly and activity spaces, outdoor amenities, and a country kitchen and dining facilities were key features of the new design. The strong visual and physical connection to the outdoors – especially from the country kitchen and dining area – and large windows framed by vaulted ceilings connect the residents to the natural features of the surrounding site. The exterior porch links the dining facility to a handsomely landscaped, secure garden and sitting areas. The renovations and additions to the existing healthcare building include a new dining room, the separation of the skilled nursing/dementia and assisted living entrances, the redesign of the common areas and a new garden courtyard with walkways and sitting areas.