Shown to the left is a front elevation of a Villa. One of the key elements of “small house” design is to ensure that as much natural light as possible enters the home. At Villas at Killearn Lakes, the front entry for each home will include as much glass as possible without sacrificing a residential feel, while allowing for ample sunlight to enter in. In addition, high foyer windows have been incorporated into the design, and skylights, as well as multiple solar tube lights, are being researched for possible inclusion into the final specifications.
An open-air patio will also be located in the rear of each Villa. Front and rear entries to each home will be without stairways to enable independent ambulation, even for those with mobility challenges.
Architecture & atmosphere
Part of the “small house” movement in long-term care that is growing across the country and elsewhere, Villas at Killearn Lakes will be a gated residential neighborhood of nine homes located off of Deerlake Road South in Killearn Lakes Plantation. The design, as well as the philosophy of care and organizational structure of “small house” communities, are distinct. Each of the nine Villas is designed from the exterior and interior as a residence, not a facility. Each Villa is approximately 7,000 square feet and features a plantation-style front porch. The grounds are park-like, complete with walkways, a water feature, and a gazebo. Plans are underway to develop substantial perimeter security for residents who may need cognitive cuing, while not limiting accessibility to the outdoors. A 3-D aerial view of the site is shown to the right.
The interior of each Villa has been carefully designed to enable independent ambulation indoors. For instance, all-private bedrooms, 300 square feet each, with private bathrooms, are located off the Great Room, to ensure that residents have no long hallways to traverse. The Great Room includes a hearth, living area, dining area and kitchen. The Great Room is sufficiently large to allow all residents to enjoy the hearth and dining areas at the same time should they choose. Every Villa will include a spa room for therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy. Kitchens are designed for easy access by residents twenty-four hours/day. Each Villa will also have a den with access to the back patio to accommodate a private setting for families or small gatherings.
Residents have full access to all areas of their Villa, just as each of us do at home. Unlike most other assisted living environments, this includes the kitchen, where residents can check the refrigerator at will, where breakfast time is when they want it, and where they can help with meal preparation if they'd like.
Each of these design features supports and enhances the core philosophy of person-directed care at Villas at Killearn Lakes…designed from the ground up as a home. Recreational, educational, cultural, and religious activities will be designed in ways that value collaboration and the autonomy of residents in choosing such pursuits, and will not patronize or infantilize those who make the Villas their home. Families and friends are, of course, always welcome. Regular interactive communication between family and caregivers is also vital to providing services and care that honor the personhood of each resident across his/her life span.