Thrive at Montvale is a clean-sheet design intended to push the limits of how senior living has traditionally been experienced and reconsider how and where neighbors interact in a residential community. As an independent living, assisted living, and memory care community with 203 units and a total of 211,500 square feet, the building has been specifically designed to integrate indoor and outdoor space in a unique way – a model that differentiates it among communities, particularly in the Northeast.
This project sought to do away with the courtyard as a functional afterthought and instead reframes the outdoor environment as an active organizer. Thus, the invention of the Social Court – an interior greenspace of more than 18,000 square feet at the heart of the community. A space that enables outdoor social connectivity while allowing natural light to flood the interior of the community with an open-air quality, creating a synergy between the outdoor and indoor environment. This is the first senior living community in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas to incorporate such an elaborate outdoor social space. The Social Court includes a restaurant with a kitchen, a bocce ball court, a ping pong table, a life-size chessboard, movies on the lawn, multiple fi re pits, and a central freestanding building dubbed the “Hub” that features a community greenhouse and a multi-use indoor/outdoor studio. Additionally, the exterior space around the community includes lighted walking trails and a dog park.
Inspired by Montvale’s farming roots, the community incorporates a modern farmhouse design anchored by organic pathways meandering from gardens to interiors. The exterior reflects a traditional northeast collegiate style that pays homage to the Saltbox-style homes built in New England.
Focus groups were held with Montvale residents to understand their expectations and incorporate their ideas. Several features promote the congregation of residents and the outside community, including Convivium Coffee Co., with workspaces and lounges, and the Social Court for outdoor gatherings.
The community’s focus is to promote a purposeful lifestyle with continuous opportunities for socialization and well-being. Features such as the Social Court, Athlete Center, coffee shop, and greenhouse were designed to challenge the typical standards of a senior living community.