Community—its creation; its growth—is a tremendously important aspect of our design for Holden of Bellevue.
Thus our design, both for memory care and assisted living, prioritizes social gatherings. Each residential unit is relatively small, whereas Holden’s shared amenities are physically, thematically, and programmatically central. Among the most visible aspects of this community-first programming is Holden’s dining spaces.
Mealtime is an essential social anchor in people’s lives, no less so for Holden’s residents. For assisted-living meals, we designed an open-plan dining room divided into two halves separated by a partial-height wall and patterned metal screens above. On one side, we placed a two-sided gas fireplace; on the other, an open kitchen with a large, pass-through window. Both halves offer two separate but related dining experiences. Our calming memory-care amenity space, too, is open and centrally located. The living room opens to dining and an intimate kitchen, designed to resemble a residential kitchen, that leads to another activity space. A covered courtyard gives Holden’s memory-care residents year-round access to the outside.
Luxury is equally important to our interior design; inspired by our experience in the hospitality sector, Holden feels luxuriously rich from the moment you enter. At the main entry stands a soothing water feature of the sort not out of place at a high-end hotel. A floor-to-ceiling feature wall in the front vestibule showcases a vividly abstract graphic, creating a dramatic, artistic first impression of the building’s interior. Even the front desk is gorgeously appointed, with a full-height chevron backdrop of limestone tile, gold decorative pendants, and a linear wood ceiling.
Farther inside, the living room opens to the main lobby, bringing a soft, more residential feeling to this lounge space. The aforementioned two-sided gas fireplace, clad in an onyx-look tile, is shared with the equally luxurious dining room. Our material palette is richly textured throughout, with deep, moody finishes, walnut-finished wood, jewel tones, and organic patterns punctuated with gold elements in the lighting and decorative screens. Stretched fabric acoustical ceilings reduce echoes and background noise, adding to Holden’s sense of comfort and calm. And of course our design includes amenities for residents’ wellness, with a big fitness room for yoga and chair exercises. When necessary, this opens to the adjacent activity room for large-group activities.
We use color intentionally throughout Holden. In the memory care areas, light and neutral colors comfort and soothe residents. Assisted living is livelier, with punches of color and jewel tones. Since the bistro and salon serve both senior residents and the general public, we designed them with a more contemporary feel: Sparkling gold, metallic lighting, and plenty of seating.
These floor-to-ceiling storefronts are very much modern retail spaces, with large windows and an oversized steel canopy out front. Clean lines and bright accent colors unequivocally distinguish Holden from less bold senior communities. This building is anything but beige.
Finally, we chose the native Pacific madrone tree for Holden’s hero image for two reasons. First, because it’s planted all over the city of Bellevue. And second, because its symbolism with the area’s First Nations includes refuge and healing. Trees, like communities to people of all ages, are life.