Reimagining Home – Innovative Assisted Living THE HEARTH AT DREXEL

Publisher: SFCS Architects

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Reimagining Home – Innovative Assisted Living THE HEARTH AT DREXEL

THE PAST INSPIRES THE FUTURE Over 100 years ago, The Mary J. Drexel Home was established to provide distinguished and quality care for the aging. This mission of service led to the transformation from a 1960s era nursing home to a state-of-the-art assisted living community built around a landmark historic mansion on the Philadelphia Main Line. The goal was to develop four 20-resident assisted living households flanking each side of the historic mansion. Working with the Lower Marion Historic Commission, the design complements the existing mansion and reflects the unique Main Line style. The two additions each have an exterior front entry foyer where visitors can enter the lower household or take an elevator to the second floor household. The first floor west household provides memory support services. The first floor east household is flexibly designed to provide memory support as demand grows. Of the 80 accommodations, there are two two-bedroom apartments, eight studio apartments and the remaining are one-bedrooms. SYNERGY OF SPACES Each household features a hearth living room, dining room, a residential style cook-to-order kitchen, access to covered outdoor space, a spa, and beauty salon. The synergy created by the relationships of these key household living spaces promotes stimulating social opportunities, allows for spontaneous activities and celebrates and respects the uniqueness of each person, all while supporting staff efficiencies. CRACKING THE CODES FOR INNOVATION The Hearth at Drexel was the first household design, licensed assisted living, with an open kitchen, in Pennsylvania. A number of variances and special interpretations were obtained to allow for this unique resident centered care approach. The open kitchen design, while becoming more common for skilled nursing, is relatively new in assisted living. By creating four separated households, with connected back of house services, each household can develop their own personality and social culture.