Genesis Village

Genesis Village is a new independent living facility chock full of unique amenities. A indoor pool and sauna, a quiet library with a fireplace, movie theater, and 4 star dining are just a few. The building is located on 6 acres of land and was once a popular hotel. It has now been converted into apartments for those 55 years and older.

One of the major challenges of this sight was to make it feel like home. On a busy corner on major throughways, privacy and green space were minimal at best. One of the first jobs was to eliminate the outlying parking lot to create an enclosed space. Large evergreens and maples help define the space and give interest for the residents high rise windows. Lower lush planting and ornamental trees help make the entry welcoming and home like. Each entry way was designed for ease and safe passage. As well as planted for season interest while mindful of pleasing the senses.

There are two courtyards, both with ceiling high windows. One is attached to the indoor atrium by the pool and the other is of the hall on the way to the dining hall , both are overlooked by residents’ apartments. The large court yard off the atrium has a spacious patio with lighting that residents now enjoy with family and friends. Plantings where selected for enjoyment from the windows as well as on the patio. Using coordinating furniture inside the courtyard and on the patio helped coordinate the two spaces.

The smaller courtyard has a seating area as well and a meandering path with accessibility to the back parking lot. Both courtyards are enclosed with tall fences not only for security but for exclusion of the deer.

Perhaps the happiest result of this major makeover is the residents’ own vegetable and herb garden. As this is an independent living facility, I wanted to engage the residents and give them ownership in their new home. The only south facing area was a small parking lot bordered by a wall of Windows along one side and residents apartments windows on the other side. The wall of windows is a hall open to the breakfast cafe, then leads down to the dining hall for lunch and dinner.

So even though I wanted to excavate the entire lot, the owner and I compromised and he gave me half. An herb garden, raised waist high beds and a planting of asparagus and raspberries make this garden a hub of activities for the residents. They can enjoy the space from inside, as much as working within it outside. Residents plant, tend, and harvest the vegetables and fruit from the garden. They even help the chef clean and prepare the harvest for the days meal. For me this is the best success of the project.

The building also boasts 2 large banquet rooms which are used for events by both the residents and those who rent them. A formal planting at the entrance and indoor plants keep the occasion festive while aiding in air health . Other indoor plants are used copiously inside to take advantage of the atrium. Indoor plants have long been proved to help keep the air clean, and improve the quality of life.

  • Public 10 January 2017