Set in a captivating environment, surrounded by the blue waters of the Gulf Coast, Plymouth Harbor at Sarasota Bay is a Senior Living Community who strives to place wellness at the heart of their resident culture. This desire to promote healthy lifestyles, with both residents and staff alike, was the motivator for the community to decide to create a new wellness area for their independent residents.
A new wellness director, passionate about senior’s fitness, created programming goals. The existing fitness area, which was located in the basement of the high rise apartment tower, needed a significant renovation in order to make this dream a reality. The main objective for the new wellness area, for both community leadership and residents alike was clear: Create an exciting wellness destination where residents can focus on their health and wellness while enjoying social opportunities with fellow residents. A resident committee helped identify resident goals. The current space was dark and “uninspiring”, they asked for a “sunny and bright” space that they would be eager to visit frequently with family and friends. The design team interacted frequently with the resident committee and staff to develop of the design.
A resident with a passion for ballroom dancing, donated to the renovation fund with the request that the wellness area include a ballroom dance floor. She believed that dancing adds passion and enthusiasm to life and envisioned the space used for parties and dance functions alike. Zones of activity that were differentiated all had complete visibility to each other. Complete with state of the art sound system and dance floor, the dance area is encased with glass walls with complete views to a small social café and to the cardio/fitness area beside it.
Before & After
Existing space is divided by drab concrete block walls with no natural light and visibility to the outside. Note the extensive plumbing lines and low ceiling height of the concrete slab. Removal of both interior and exterior concrete walls floods the space with natural light and expansive views of the Sarasota Bay. Interest is added with curved geometry, bright colors and accented finishes for an upgraded urban feel.
The existing corner of the building facing Sarasota Bay completely obstructs the views. Staff and residents alike referred to this space as the “basement”. Removal of solid walls at the corner of the building reveals expansive views of the Sarasota Bay. Resident use of the fitness area has more than tripled since the renovation. Note the mirrored walls that reflect the water views. Finishes and color mimic the water.
The future home of the ballroom dance area was a dark, cluttered and institutional space without exterior views. Removal of the solid walls inside and out creates a destination for both dancing and hosting special events. The dance space in combination with the adjacent social area has become the social hub of the community..