When it comes to luxury senior living, no place sets the standards quite like New York City.
There are a growing number of such buildings in New York that cater to every need of seniors’ daily life, and they are becoming more and more technologically advanced. One of the towers is powered by artificial intelligence to monitor the population, while the others are community-oriented.
One new building that takes assisted living to new levels is Sunrise in Midtown Manhattan, a 17-story, 130,000-square-foot facility on East 56th Street that opened to residents at the beginning of the year.
The building, which includes 151 units, has become a leader in the lifestyle space focused on health, with supreme amenities and experiences for residents. It is the first and only one in its sector to receive LEED Silver, WELL Silver and WELL Health-Safety Rating Seal certifications.
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The tower was designed by New York-based SLCE Architects, who worked alongside Champalimaud Design, the company behind the interior finishes and furnishings, as well as the rest spaces.
The Sunrise has landscaped balconies and mansion-style community gathering spaces and clever additions, from circadian rhythm lighting (which mimics natural light) to a vibration-isolating system to reduce outside noise.
The design is inspired by classic Park Avenue apartment homes, and each apartment design is tailored to New York City living. It caters specifically to culture-conscious New York seniors who wish to maintain their upscale, upscale lifestyles, as they shift gears for assisted living.
Adam Ogenblick, Associate at SLCE Architects was the project manager at Sunrise, working on the building from start to finish. Mr. Eugenblick spoke to Mansion Global about the rise in luxury living for seniors, what it inspires and sustainable developments.
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Mansion Global: Where did all of this start, building Sunrise?
Adam Ogenblick: Haynes, the real estate developer, came to us. We have a history of doing both Seniors Residence and Hines Residential. There seem to be a lot of cases where families have had to move their parents from New York City to Connecticut or Florida, but [the parents] You want to stay in town and go to the same restaurants and museums. It appears to be an emerging market. They want to capture the Upper East Side customers.
MG: What is this type of senior client looking for when it comes to the transition to assisted living? What do wealthy seniors want to call home?
AA: With this, specifically, we set out to work with aesthetics resembling a typical Upper East Side apartment; Lots of granite countertops and clean finishes. Even though residents are moving from a large apartment to a smaller studio, we are captured by the same feeling, the same luxury. We’ve also designed a precast exterior that evokes a classic Upper East Side aesthetic. The prefabricated facade frames a multi-storey curtain wall that provides classic Park Avenue style with a modern curtain wall system.
MG: Which classic and modern architects have you been looking for inspiration?
AA: Carlo Scarpa and Louis Kahn. I admire the work of contemporary architects Steven Holl, Jin Gang and Wes Jones. I learned about Louis Kahn in design school. It amazes me because of its functional side, but also how it creates beauty through form. And how it works with light. How he was able to make bold gestures.
MG: How is a building sustainable?
AA: This is the first building of its kind to receive LEED Silver certification. It is also WELL Silver and . certified [has] WIL Health Safety Classification Seal Certificates. We wanted to bring luxury to the building so that we could create an open layout with terraces, all of which have plenty of green space. We put green as you enter the building, so it evokes that kind of health as well as the interiors. Public space lighting uses a programmable system that changes throughout the day according to the circadian rhythm. This design aspect assists the cognitive functions of the brain in the population.
MG: What can you say about the high-altitude living trend, which focuses on wellness, and well-being for seniors? There are many such towers being built all over the country.
AA: We are working on building another one. The same group, Heinz, operates in the well tower On the upper west side. like this [Sunrise] It was under construction, UWS was developed. I can see this trend continuing to grow. We have done studies for other clients. We are also renovating hotels. Much of the hotel’s infrastructure can fit in well with upscale condominiums. We are seeing a lot of interest.
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MG: Are they the people who don’t want to sacrifice their quality of life when they enter that stage of their lives?
AA: Yes, people love where they live. They don’t want to go to Boca Raton, Florida. Or somewhere in Connecticut. They want to go to the deli that they’ve been going to for years, and they want to go to the Museum of Modern Art. Even in this building, Sunrise, we have themed floors. One is the MoMA floor, New York themed. They bring outside restaurant food to the facility. They don’t want to lose that lifestyle – like culture-savvy New Yorkers.
MG: What other design trends do you see in New York City for luxury apartment buildings?
AA: It may be a post-Covid world, but people are more engaged with their workspace at home and being able to strike a work-life balance. I see it being incorporated into the amenities, rather than the golf simulator. Home offices are becoming more and more popular.
MG: What is your personal definition of luxury?
AA: When I think of luxury, I think of clean lines, and beautiful materials. Space does more than you need to do. Feel the sense of rich material and richness in the space. It is not exaggerated. I think it’s a Japanese aesthetic, in a sense.
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MG: What about Japanese design, is it a smart negotiation about space?
AA: I’m thinking about the trade of space and how spaces open up to each other, rather than this whole traditional idea of ”this is your kitchen” and manufactured spaces. I have lived in New York for a while. I do not wish to have an unused room. I would like to have a well-designed space that does what I need, using every corner. I prefer the perfect living. My favorite Japanese architect is Tadao Ando.
MG: The Waldorf Astoria has been restored to its original 1931 design, and there’s a greater appreciation showing how things used to be in the old days. Is our technology-driven life making us crave it?
AA: There is a desire for it, but there are no craftsmen or masons to make these things anymore. How are you going to create it now? It will be all fiberglass. You don’t want to look like an imitation of what it’s supposed to be. We have done many restoration projects. We just finished T Building in Queens, NY Old Art Deco building from 1939 we converted into a residence. It’s been vacant for years – there have been talks of demolishing it – so I’m glad it can stay.
MG: What’s your favorite design quote?
AA: “The future cannot be foreseen, it is created,” quote from British writer Arthur C. Clarke.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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