LifeCare Services Corporation
Milwaukee, WI
108,000 SF
Completion date
September 2023

Inspired by input from Eastcastle Place residents, staff and leadership, žžƵ's interior design reflects the essence of the community's brand: Deeply Rooted, Moving Forward. 

Located on Milwaukee's vibrant East Side, Eastcastle Place is a nonprofit retirement community that provides residents opportunities for true connection, both to one another and to the surrounding walkable lakeside neighborhood. With a rich history in the area, including a 138-year-old Victorian Gothic building at its heart, the campus is recognized for its combination of thoughtful amenities and skilled healthcare. 

Eastcastle Place has historically maintained a pulse on the evolving needs and expectations of the senior population. Combined with its willingness to adapt and change, this insight into market trends allowed the community's leaders to identify key updates that would reinvigorate the campus and maintain Eastcastle Place's competitive edge - all while supporting its deeply rooted commitment to help residents keep exploring, learning and thriving every day. 

Collaborating with LCS Development and AG Architecture, žžƵ's interior design and FFE team developed resident-centered design solutions to support a strategically phased construction plan that prioritizes the addition of unique entry-fee independent living units and updates to amenity spaces to elevate resident life. 

The project's initial phase began with the relocation and consolidation of healthcare services and relocation of the assisted living and memory support units from the southernmost building, Watertower, to Bradford Terrace on the western edge of the site. This strategy allowed the team to enact short-term, budget-conscious updates to Bradford Terrace with the long-term goal of adding a new healthcare structure on campus. Resident units and commons areas were refreshed during this phase.  

During the next phase, the team reconfigured Watertower to include 30 independent living residences with a total of nine different floor plans. The reconfiguration includes the addition of amenity spaces on each floor and significant updates to the central commons area. In addition to a refreshed reception and lobby, the commons remodeling includes a new pub, grab-and-go bistro and a renovated fitness center. Each new and renovated space provides enhanced enrichment opportunities where residents can gather, socialize and engage in wellness-focused activities. žžƵ's interior design leverages various elements - from light fixtures and wall screens to mosaic tiles and graphics - to evoke a sense of elegance and create branded destinations.

Throughout the process, the team presented finish options to residents to gain feedback and guide the design development. These conversations made it clear that residents were proud of the campus history and wanted to maintain the warm and inviting appeal of its heritage rather than live in a sleek and modern environment. In response, žžƵ's design team developed the concept, "Today's Traditional," which sought to balance the rich legacy of the campus with a modern sensibility.  

The resulting design remains true to the history and culture of Eastcastle Place while also offering contemporary designs that keep the community feeling current: a warm, sophisticated color palette combines textures and classic patterns with saturated blue tones, rust and coral hues, rich woods and gold and black metal accents to give the space a modern feel. 

Inspired by historic details, such as the building's original railings, žžƵ's furniture selections for the commons area reflect a more traditional style, yet also feature updated, cleaner lines that echo the wingback chairs in the lobby. Classic fabric patterns, such as tweeds, plaids, herringbones, houndstooth, and rich leathers, juxtapose with bold botanical prints to complete the refined palette. Curated artwork includes a mix of abstract and transitional pieces along with local photography of familiar subject matter to reinforce the new design aesthetic.  

Architecture & Design Awards Third Place Campus Renovation/Repositioning
Senior Housing News