Why are we integrating wellness design for the multi-family housing sector?
It’s not just about updating finishes today… Residents want “wellness” architecture and interior design that promote a healthier lifestyle. We are designing the amenity spaces for three notable 150+ unit buildings in the New York City area. The original purchasers were baby boomers, who are obsessed with the quality of life and longevity, in addition to increasing the value of their real estate. This “personal sustainability positioning” (PSP) is very appealing to both younger and older purchasers alike.
This is no longer a trend and synergistically occurring within our hospitality and single-family residential work. We see a huge movement towards wellness architecture and interiors. For example, fitness areas are less about hard-body toning, and more about stretching, yoga, and low-impact aerobic exercise. This includes multi-purpose movement studios that provide a cushioned floor with non-toxic materials and natural daylight. New circadian lighting increases energy in the morning and then switches over to an amber spectrum in the evening, which naturally produces melatonin to help residents wind down. It’s all about creating flexibility and movement for the body and the space design.
Not surprisingly, we are doing a lot of swimming and exercise pools ideal for stretching and elongating muscle groups. Aqua exercise bikes and resistance running within the pool are becoming popular. These low-impact exercises are conducive to older joints enhancing flexibility.
Social spaces are in demand — requiring flexibility and storage — to allow simple conversion from an informal board room, to a card room, to a party/dance space, ideally with an adjacent small kitchenette within proximity. We are integrating fireplaces, green walls and natural light — bringing the outdoors indoors, and designing a “sense of place” with heart + soul. We are designing different social space types, accommodating a small intimate group in contrast to larger gathering spaces. Spatial and programming flexibility is key, so ample storage for furniture that allows the room to be easily converted is a priority.
Our primary goal is to design healthy interiors, which contribute to the well-being of the occupants. So not only are we updating the finishes for a fresher look, we are using building systems that provide better air and water quality while mitigating noise pollution. We are replacing unhealthy toxic materials with sustainable, natural, green materials. Our health-centric design gives an upgrade to these tired old amenities, with healthy environments that promote wellness for residents.
A lot has changed in the design of multi-family housing amenities. It’s no longer just about the color of the finishes but about integrating wellness architecture, which directly impacts residents’ quality of life, while simultaneously increasing the value of the real estate.