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Grace and wellness

April 1, 2007
by ROBERT VOLZER, CID, IIDA
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In a dramatic and upscale reuse of “Merriwold,” the 1926 J. Seward Johnson estate, the original stone gate entrance arch and adapted gatehouse welcome residents and visitors to the newest housing option introduced by the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home. Linked to an existing skilled nursing facility are two new structures—Parker at Stonegate and The Pavilion, a state-of-the-art community wellness center. Parker at Stonegate provides 60 assisted living units in both social and medical models. The architecture of the new facility is based on a Tudor manor house, and every effort was taken to recall the scale, detailing, and grandeur of the architectural period, with flooring integral to portraying this design concept. Parker at Stonegate offers both traditional elegance and a contrasting contemporary style, along with The Pavilion. Both structures reflect the traditions of the Parker Home, which for nearly a century has provided outstanding care for seniors and is setting the stage for the influx of baby boomers.



The Pavilion includes adult and children's day care, a fitness center and pool, theater, day spa and salon, bank, post office, café, offices, and the facility's Gerontological Research Center. The Pavilion link is vibrant and designed as a “downtown,” with flooring material choices used to reinforce this concept.



The design supports the owner's “Green Mission”—according to Roberto Muñiz, president of Parker Homes, “Our primary focus is a quality indoor environment, which is most appropriate for this end user, and the quality of air delivered, abundance of natural light, ventilation, and reduction of indoor irritants were of critical focus in the design of our project.



“Following a few local zoning and historic preservation hur- dles, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs approved our design, with high marks for the value-added services we have incorporated,” states Muñiz. “The beautiful and accessible pool and spa services in our wellness center have allowed some residents to maintain familiar lifelong activities,” he adds









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VOLZER DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
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