A Design for Retirement Facilities of the Future

State-of-the-art amenities and furnishings appease an emerging senior population with a desire for high-quality, wellness-focused recovery environments

New “Facility of the Future" interior design brand guidelines and standards, unveiled by WATG, for new Golden Living facilities (a family of healthcare companies) throughout the United States, consist of state-of-the-art amenities and furnishings for an emerging senior population that has a desire for high-quality, wellness-focused recovery environments.


The facilities will emphasize short-term recovery care and promote active lifestyles. Accommodations will be modeled after hotels and spas, with a sharp attention to detail and awareness about how the physical environment plays a critical role in recovery. Components from “Facility of the Future” will create a foundation for the renovations of other existing Golden Living facilities to bring a greater focus on personal space, wellness, and rehabilitation.


The new campuses will be distinct from other assisted living centers by balancing healthcare, hospitality, and wellness within one environment. In addition to skilled nursing, there will be an Aegis facility not only for physical therapy, but also for treatments like massage and nutrition training. The Aegis centers will be capable of serving the in-patients, as well as creating a spa alternative for the surrounding community.


The facilities will be more lifestyle-oriented by providing residents private rooms, allowing them to use the room as they would any hotel, with lounge areas, desk space, plenty of outlets for personal electronics, and a place for all their personal toiletries in their private bathrooms.


The public spaces are designed to create warm, inviting areas for patients and guests to visit, share a meal together in the restaurant, or grab a quick snack at the juice bar.  These spaces play an important role in physical and mental recovery by inspiring personal confidence, and by maintaining a personal connection with others and to the world outside via an Internet café.


The guidelines implement sustainable practices with holistic approaches, including the extensive use of daylighting. Warm sunlight is favored over artificial light, and nature is brought indoors wherever possible through atrium spaces where residents enjoy the scenery and the environment, regardless of weather conditions or physical limitations. These connections to nature play a vital role in recovery.