Photo of Casa de las Campanas
Photo of Casa de las Campanas
Photo of Casa de las Campanas
Photo of Casa de las Campanas
Photo of Casa de las Campanas
Photo of Casa de las Campanas

Casa de las Campanas

New Life for Senior Living Life Planned Community

Needing to breathe new renovation life into their San Diego Life Planned Community, Casa de las Campanas contacted Ankrom Moisan. With our broad expertise not only in senior living but also in hospitality, we saw opportunities to create a beautiful, functional new core from their over 25-year-old facility—to build up, enhance, and reuse instead of tearing down. One of Casa de las Campanas’s primary requirements was giving their residents more access to outdoor space. Wellness too, in all its forms, was critical. Our team understood that what was healthy, peaceful, and restorative for current residents would also draw future residents. By balancing what current residents need with what future residents want, our design finds transformative ways to speak to both.

San Diego, California
  • 126 units
  • 142,390 sq. ft.
  • Completed in 2016 & 2018

Senior Living


Architecture: Joe Tucker

Interiors: Alissa Brandt

Architecture Story

Home, Enhanced

The first phase of modernizing the Casa de las Campanas Senior Living Life Planned Community campus focused on wellness, outdoor space, and dining. An underused outside area, simply landscaped and generally ignored by residents and their visiting families, became a multifunctional courtyard with a new putting green and adjacent bistro and outdoor patio (complete with a barbecue), perfect for open-air dining in the gorgeous southern California weather. Near the newly rehabbed pool, we built a new outdoor hot tub. The pool building itself was rebuilt as a meeting and club room for residents and the Casa de las Campanas board of directors. Before, the exercise spaces were cramped and relegated to small spaces. Now, designed for restoration and meeting up with other residents, the newly constructed fitness building supports all types of exercise equipment, a yoga studio, and locker rooms, with NanaWalls that open to the outside. Speaking of taking care of body and mind, the salon renovation creates a high-end, luxurious self-care experience; subtle upgrades to the fixtures enhance safety and overall accessibility. The new bistro, too, connects to the outdoors, with a skylight drawing in San Diego’s lovely natural light and opening up what was once a fairly dark space. Here, residents reconnect with each other and their families amid an interactive piano bar, full kitchen, upgraded furniture, and plenty of seating options. Drawing on knowledge earned across adjacent market sectors, especially our hospitality experience, our goal was giving people more choices, from grab-and-go to full-service dining. We wanted dining to feel special to residents, and now it does. Phase two, currently under construction, will replace Casa de las Campanas’s current skilled-nursing building with a state-of-the-art, three-story facility based around private occupancy. Phase three, to be completed after this new building is complete, will be a five-story addition of new independent, assisted-living, and memory-care units, plus additional common spaces and below-grade parking. By enhancing these aspects of Casa de las Campanas’s existing architecture while introducing natural elements—wood and other materials of southern California—we effectively, subtly modernized the senior living campus, balancing the need to attract new residents while retaining the familiar warmth of home for current residents.


Interior Story

A fresh new look

It’s important for us to help existing senior housing facilities reinvent themselves instead of starting completely from scratch. This ties into our overall emphasis on sustainability: To augment what we have, as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our redesign for Casa de las Campanas integrates their existing Spanish Colonial aesthetic with a new modern, fresh finish palette. The first—phase I—renovated their existing bistro and salon. The second phase built a new wellness building to house a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studio, swimming pool, locker rooms, and massage therapy. The third phase, currently underway, will replace their skilled-nursing building with a three-story facility based around private-occupancy units, and the fourth and final phase will comprise a five-story addition of new independent, assisted-living, and memory-care units. Throughout the first phase of our redesign, we focused on rich natural materials, decorative hand painted tiles, and deep red and gold accents. The carpet highlights a bold Spanish pattern; deep reds and oranges link to the Spanish feel of the existing community. Particularly in the bistro, skylights open up a once-dark interior space and draw in natural light throughout the day. Lighting levels are further supplemented by additional layers of interior lighting—including wrought-iron, candle-inspired decorative pendants and wall sconces, as well as a backlit onyx feature wall. At areas of new construction, we lightened up our palette, bringing in contemporary finishes and clean lines while creating tranquil, light, and inviting spaces. Our design gives an aesthetic nod to existing community spaces, using wood tones and ironwork in the decorative lighting, while brightening things up through light blues, textured limestone, and warm whites. We drew on our hospitality experiences to support an overall program based on wellness, interaction, and self-care. The refreshed Casa de las Campanas is not just luxurious, it’s tranquil and inviting. This intentional focus—creating spaces that rejuvenate while comforting—means that our client’s senior housing campus can attract new residents while feeling like home to those currently living here.