Inspired by lodges of the Pacific Northwest, Aegis Mercer Island is an elegant, contemporary, yet approachable senior community on the most populated lake island in the U.S.
Our interior design and architecture teams collaborated to customize interior and exterior elements, from plentiful daylight and the lobby’s four-story stacked-stone fireplace to onyx glass wall features and live-edge wood. Because we integrated these indoor and outdoor elements and blended natural materials with bold textures, residents experience Aegis Mercer Island as deeply rooted in its geographic place, the exact opposite of cookie-cutter design.
Speaking of place, Aegis projects frequently focus on quirky, odd-shaped sites, locations that present genuinely distinct opportunities. For example, this site itself—a narrow, environmentally sensitive area with a steep slope, high water table, and an existing wetland—required boundary modification. Working with the state’s department of ecology, our team examined the wetland’s ecological processes and determined a workable boundary that would protect it from construction damage. This phase affected not only where we delineated our workable boundaries, but informed how the v-shaped building itself supports this sensitive ecosystem by retaining earth and preventing runoff.
As negotiations with Mercer Island continued through the design review phase, the building’s aesthetic evolved from a historically inspired mountain lodge into a far more contemporary expression of Northwest themes: exposed heavy timber, an overhanging roof and entry canopy, blackened steel fasteners, wood siding, and stacked stone.
Now, as visitors and residents enter this wide, narrow building through an open entryway at its center, they’re welcomed by a grand entry connected to a double-height living room, which brings in generous daylight and presents a direct floor-to-ceiling view of a stunning outdoor water wall surrounded by a gorgeous courtyard. Measuring 14 feet high by 35 feet wide, this waterfall-slash-retaining wall anchors the project’s outdoor terraces and gardens and activates what would otherwise be a static hillside—a dramatic, welcoming gesture that makes a huge first impression.
Off to either side of the entry, high-end amenities aim to inspire residents’ minds, encourage physical activity, and nurture their relationships with a spa, fitness center, dining room, cinema, and sports den, sky lounge, and more. These, along with 89 apartments that include 73 assisted living and 16 memory care units, make Aegis Mercer Island a continuous, supportive senior community rooted in the elemental materials of the coastal Northwest.