The architectural design that graces the new Three Palms Health Center at East Ridge at Cutler Bay draws on its neighbors to the south and has a strong Key West influence.
“While the exterior of Three Palms is in keeping with the community-wide repositioning, the interiors have a real, lasting impact on the health and happiness of the community’s residents and staff,” said John Cronin of Wisconsin-based AIA of AG Architecture.
He explained that in 2014, the East Ridge team including SantaFe Senior Living, East Ridge management and board members along with the architects, brainstormed the direction for the campus-wide repositioning and architectural design of the East Ridge master plan.
A field trip to the lower Keys and specifically Key West was undertaken. The vibrant colors, metal roofs and architectural detailing that define Key West seemed a perfect fit for the new direction of the community.
The look was first introduced in the remodeling and renovation project for the Wellness Center and continued with the Lifestyle Center and residential villas.
But the impact of the design concept can really be felt in the Three Palms Health Center, a totally new building which has recently opened.
From the galvanized metal roof, turrets and gingerbread accents, the Key West detailing are incorporated including crown molding on columns, gables and the use of shutters on windows. The multiple pastel colors on the exterior add to the vibrancy.
Much like the old sea captains’ homes on the island, the customized front door of Three Palms is stained wood and a strong contrast to the pastel façade.
The entry area, as a point of arrival, draws the eye upwards to a soaring ceiling and Florida-style chandelier. Many design details were incorporated starting in the lobby and continuing throughout the building that are geared for better living.
The reception desk isn’t hidden but in full view in the lobby. This helps in creating a hub where people can stop to chat or have their questions answers. The lobby is a community gathering area.
In the mailroom, residents’ mailboxes are kept at a level that is easily accessible and doesn’t require stooping.
The building is designed in a donut shape allowing access to daylight wherever you are. The outdoors is integrated
with both indoor and outdoor living areas and there is plenty of natural lighting. Screened porches and outside gardens are very accessible.
“This helps improve wellness,” said Cronin. “These are places where people can gather, socialize and relax. The tranquility found from outdoor areas is very stimulating. There are a lot of design features you don’t necessarily think about when you walk around Three Palms; you simply feel more comfortable.”
The memory care area now focuses on smaller areas that are more homelike with rooms centered around a living room/dining room and open kitchen. People always have a place to walk but without long corridors.
“Spaces are intimate, gathering areas are smaller and more comfortable and the angles of the building add interest,” he said.
Additionally, the environmental sustainability of the Three Palms building is very important to residents of East Ridge now and in the future. Three Palms received the prestigious LEED Platinum certification for the sustainability features of the community.
Three Palms at East Ridge offers assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation accommodations and services.