WHEN THEY BUILT Cascades of the Sierra, Bothell, Wash.–based Cascade Living Group (an affiliated company of project developer Stanley & Shorten ) and Davis, Calif.– based Brown Construction wanted to give senior residents the feel of a high-end resort, with plush furnishings and dark woods throughout that are meant to reinforce the “high desert" and Sierra style.

The team also grouped the senior project’s living units practically, placing all 120 independent-living units on one side of the facility with their own open courtyard area. In another section, they put the 96 assisted-care units together, also with a safe, enclosed courtyard. Finally, around another enclosed courtyard, the firms grouped 24 memory-care units together.

Brown included two full-service dining rooms connected by a 3,500-squarefoot, state-of-the-art kitchen facility, which is centrally located between the independent facility and the rest of the community. The memory-care area also has a “country kitchen” for cooking a range of snacks.

Brown gave additional special attention to the assisted-living and memory-care areas by providing an extra building envelope with steel framing and lightweight concrete flooring, for fire and safety needs. The design, developed with local fire officials, lets non-ambulatory residents have a room on the third floor with a view and allows for completely sealing off the assisted-living and memory-care areas from the independent-living section in the event of a fire.