When one thinks senior living communities, images of outdated furnishings and lackluster amenity spaces often come to mind, but HBA Los Angeles has made it a mission to turn that stigma on its head. The Watermark at Westwood Village in Los Angeles marks the city’s newest luxury senior living facility and does just that. Offering three levels of accommodations—independent living, assisted living, and memory care, the property is designed to be functional with all the comfort and amenities of home, feeling more like a high-end hotel than a typical retirement home.
“This project’s hospitality-like design, amenities, intuitive flow, and urban setting differentiate it from other senior living communities,” says Richard Tennill, partner, HBA Los Angeles. “We wanted to create beautiful, cozy, and functional interiors that are timeless and sophisticated. The location is vibrant and lively; we wanted to bring that energy in and create different moments in every corner for residents to enjoy.”
Inspired by the desire to encourage connectivity and promote the mental and physical wellbeing of members, the design team implemented a cohesive vernacular for the ground floor public spaces. Public spaces are left open and airy, defined by purposeful architectural elements and materiality such as a double-sided fireplace that separates the lobby from the multifunctional spaces beyond. The lounge and restaurant are divided by a semi-open, sculptural brass shelving system that delineates the areas without full visual obstruction.
“We were challenged to accommodate all the necessary functions of a senior living facility into an urban highrise building,” says Tennill. “We came up with innovative solutions to include the signature Watermark services, amenities, and wellness resort mindset within the limited footprint. Residents are given the chance to be social, but they have several opportunities to have private moments if they so choose.”
Nearly all of the public spaces in the facility open out to the exterior, be it the landscaped inner courtyard, private gardens, or walkway paths, to maximize the indoor-outdoor California lifestyle. Other semi-public areas such as the wellness room, library, multifunction room, and outdoor flex room are formally detached from the main spaces, but still offer a communal feel. Other amenity spaces include a fitness center, salon, spa, and a memory care facility—all of which are located on the second level.
“We love the story of this property and how it shaped our narrative: a 1960s UCLA dormitory building turned senior living facility,” says Aysegul Conboy, senior project designer with HBA Los Angeles. “We took the initial spark of energy from the roots of the property and got inspired by the ’60s midcentury modern design aesthetics while designing the interiors. Our favorite, and the most engaging, aspect of the project was the ability to connect the roots of the property with its new function. Knowing the needs of our residents and taking that as a challenge to fulfill them.”
Watermark at Westwood Village comprises 188 residences across studios, one- and two-bedroom units and is located within walking distance of the UCLA campus. The neighborhood is lively, walkable, and is surrounded by beautiful mountain views.
“It’s an ideal place to live for seniors who still want to be in the heart of the action and enjoy the luxury amenities of the community,” says Conboy.
Photos courtesy of Watermark Retirement Communities