Astral at Franklin provides upscale, market-rate senior living to this bedroom community of Indianapolis, Indiana. All aspects are designed for a continuum-of-care model where residents can age in place enjoying a stylish, amenity-packed environment. The 3-story, 146,000-square-foot campus offers 51 independent living suites, 39 assisted living apartments, and 28 memory care suites grouped into two households. The team set out to satisfy the client’s goals of providing a multi-acuity campus offering balanced living, wellness, and personalized care. The design provides user-centric, sustainable, and hospitality-driven alternatives to the institutional model of senior living healthcare. Universal design elements are implemented seamlessly throughout all public, resident, and staff areas. Spaces are flexible and open to allow residents freedom of movement and the opportunity to preview activities prior to joining them.

Franklin, IN
Date of Completion:
Project Size (Sq. ft)
145,921 SF
The Sterling Group
Franciscan Ministries
American Structurepoint, Inc.
Interior Design Firm:
Mitsch Design
Sterling Construction Corporation

When visitors walk into the main entrance, they are greeted by a deep view into the first-floor living and dining rooms. This “green wall” with the Astral logo is the first thing they see. Using biophilic components in the common areas ties these areas to the exterior views seen through the large windows in every room.

The first-floor living room is a conversation haven with small vignettes of seating, a large fireplace element, and screened areas. Residents waiting for visitors can enjoy themselves here as can a crew of avid card players. Subtle colors were used to make the space a comfortable environment.

The private concierge is located adjacent to the building entrance and has full view of the lobby and living room. Geometrics were used here to create visual excitement when a guest or resident walks into the building.

The Arts Lab has multiple views from the space. This room has a second-floor porch with views of the front lawn and building entrance. A pair of barn doors open this room to the community room, allowing the two rooms to merge or allowing this space to be an anteroom for presenters and artists performing in the community.

The 2-story community room hosts presentations, classes, concerts and various other communitywide events. It is located near the core elevators for public access and provides access to the second-floor rooftop balcony that overlooks the building entrance. The third-floor game room and core hallway have visual access to the space as shown here.

Each Memory Care household has a living room with distinguishing features and colors to differentiate one from the other for resident wayfinding. While offering a comfortable seating area with a fireplace and television, the living rooms also offer therapeutic components such as a kitchenette and laundry to assist residents in muscle memory activities to stimulate their senses.

Two reading nooks are provided in the Assisted Living wing, offering spaces where residents can spend time with each other or by themselves participating in enjoyable activities. Comfortable seating and differing seating arrangements, as well as large windows, enhance the spaces.

Two spas are provided on campus for residents to bathe in the jacuzzi tubs. Dimmable lighting, fireplaces, and a fun tile surround make the space cozy when bathing. An ensuite bathroom provides privacy, and a lower-height counter and mirror provide space for residents to style their hair after their spa activities. The rooms are sized to allow for portable massage tables to be used.

Surround sound and dramatic lighting add to the theatric experience in the centrally located theater. A dark ceiling and comfortable leather theater seats with table trays add to the drama as well. Individual residents and groups of residents can watch television here, and movie nights are made all the better with fresh homemade popcorn.

The community focus is overall wellbeing which includes mental, physical, and social health. Due to this belief, a large centrally located wellness center is located on the third floor. Cardio and strength equipment are provided as is seating for chair yoga and a mirror with a balance bar for additional therapeutic exercises.

No matter what type of apartment a resident is in, they can bet on having large windows in their living rooms and bedrooms with nice views to the outside. A reclaimed wood-look LVT was used in the living/kitchen areas of the apartments for a high-end effect. High ceilings and light-colored walls make the spaces bright and vibrant. Kitchens are well appointed with stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar. Cabinets and countertops have sharp contrasts to better present food being prepared and served. The location of a small dining area and the laundry room near the kitchen creates an efficient relationship between the differing essential areas of the apartments.

The first-floor dining room is the largest and is located directly adjacent to the lobby. The room is very open with flooring and ceiling patterns used to define movement areas versus dining areas. Special acoustic treatment is used to lower sound due to the hard floors. The colors chosen provide a contrast between the walls and floors, and the tabletops highlight the food being served.

The Café/Bistro offers grab-and-go food as well as a dine-in counter space where residents can interact closely with the staff. The contrast between the angled white woodwork and the green preserved moss creates a fun environment to grab a quick bite or play with the grandkids.

The two Memory Care households have a communal dining area on the first floor with the dining areas separated by a dine-in counter and serving area. Residents can directly access the courtyard from this room and eat outdoors if they prefer. Special acoustic treatment was used to lower ambient sound in the space and improve residents’ dining experiences.

The second-floor dining room offers three meals a day. Large windows offer views of the south courtyard and provide daylight deep into the open area. Acoustic treatment lowers ambient sound while the flooring patterns identify movement and dining zones. Light-colored tabletops were used in conjunction with accent lighting over each table to highlight the food being served.