Maximizing a challenging site for enriched senior living
A graceful expression of a senior assisted living residence, Grandbrier of Prospect Heights today offers home-like comfort and holistic care for residents — and little indication of the challenges inherent in its site. Charged with the design of 101 units of Assisted Living and 32 units of Memory Care on a site encumbered by small size, proximity to street and floodplain, WJW created intelligent solutions that maximize design opportunities, delivering unique, high-end living for the seniors of Chicago’s northwest suburbs.
Though initially devoid of city water service and faced with considerable zoning hurdles, the site revealed its potential as WJW dug into the design and planning processes. After navigating the complexities of rezoning and gaining state approval for new, 1,000-foot-deep wells to provide water, design solutions took center stage.
The building’s asymmetrical footprint is a direct response to the site, creating a wedge shape that pushes parking to the perimeter and allows many common and private spaces within to open toward a beautiful, south-facing outdoor space. The Assisted Living portion of the building is centered on this connection to nature; open first-floor common spaces, including a full-service bistro, lead to a full outdoor patio with built-in exterior fireplace and grill that allows residents to enjoy outdoor dining. Amenities include a library, computer room and full theater, as well as personalized comforts such as in-unit laundry and eat-in kitchen islands.