Emerald Heights is a Life Plan Community rooted in the wooded hills of Redmond, Washington, supporting residents across all levels of care for more than 30 years.  Dining is one area of service that has seen dramatic change in resident expectations and experience overtime, especially since 2020. The pandemic forcefully ushered in new ways to safely provide meals to residents, and communities everywhere adapted services to support no-contact food deliveries and carry-out programs. Emerald Heights was no exception, and they converted their under-utilized formal dining venue into a temporary grab-and-go operation where residents could carry out orders placed by phone or computer. They quickly saw a positive response to this new option, recognizing that the independence and choice it afforded residents brought new value to the community. Grab-and-go services remained popular after other dining venues resumed normal operations, and it was clear this service necessitated a proper venue and permanent seat at Emerald Heights’ dining table.

Redmond, WA
Date of Completion:
Project Size (Sq. ft)
1,438 SF

Dining Before | After

Emerald Communities
Emerald Communities
Rice Fergus Miller
Interior Design Firm:
Rice Fergus Miller
WALSH Construction Co.

Dining Before | After

Rice Fergus Miller worked closely with leadership, dining staff and food service consultants to design a home for this program. Cascades is a new grab-and-go dining venue that provides flexible food options and a casual social environment for Emerald Heights residents.

The temperate California climate also encourages an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, inspiring our members to enjoy
outdoor dining and lounging next to the fireplace in our courtyard.

Dining Before | After

The design inspiration grew from the Northwestern roots of the greater community. Redmond, Washington is known for its vibrant farmers markets and lush natural surroundings, juxtaposed with the presence of high-tech businesses, like Microsoft. This marriage of the natural environment with modern technology is reflected in the Cascades venue both in operation and aesthetics.

Designed to offer each member an elevated and engaged life, including the Elegant Palmer Library and Lobby.

Dining Before | After

Market-inspired displays of fresh produce, bakery goods, and a curated selection of ready-to-eat sandwiches and more invite residents inside to engage directly with their food selections as well as their peers. They can choose to stay and enjoy a bite while reading by the fire, or they can order online from their apartment and pick up their food on the way to the next activity. This ability to support contrasting lifestyles is part of how Cascades brings innovation to Emerald Heights.