Abandoning the idea of traditional senior living facilities.


The Ashford at Sturbridge demonstrates the evolution of senior living through financial accessibility and value-driven design. Specifically designed to accommodate middle to low income seniors, The Ashford added the missing piece needed to turn the existing Sturbridge senior living campus into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

The main design principle focused on abandoning the idea of traditional, hospital-like institutional design in favor of creating a home based on a resident-centered, hospitality approach. In this design concept, the quality of resident life, improved resident outcomes, and greater customer and staff satisfaction are first priorities.

While square-footage stayed similar to higher-price-point facilities, overall expenses were kept down with strategic / programmatic decisions regarding where to spend and save. Money was spent on high-cost, high-impact products that are long-lasting and can’t easily be replaced like carpet, cabinets and flooring.

To keep square footage down yet maximize amenity spaces for the residents, some typical areas such as corridors were utilized to provide additional amenity space such as a pub area and a library. Other amenity areas were designed smaller than normal but utilized higher ceilings or daylight from two sides of the room to make them feel more spacious. Striving to make travel distances as short as possible for residents, an H-shaped footprint allowed for a more compact design that contributed to the lower cost to build.

By placing the facility on an underutilized site within the campus, the project took advantage of placement near walking trails, a golf course, shopping malls and medical care clinics.