Familiarity, security and calmness. These are the emotions and feelings most important to reinforce through thoughtful design when one crosses the threshold of a skilled nursing facility.
This threshold is initially crossed when a family is at a moment of stress, and emotions are running high. When the entry experience is designed to ease the feeling of stress at the initial visit, it works to reinforce the same emotions each time friends and family visit. When approached in this way it has the potential to be more than just a design exercise in increasing the curb appeal of the facility from the street. This transition from the outside world into the facility sets the mood and expectations of the guest and visitor, and reflects on the aspirations of the facility and its philosophy while setting expectations for the delivery of high quality care.
The approach, the landscaping, the texture and color of the building materials, the sounds, the lighting, and the size and proportion of space all contribute to the sense of entry, and should be carefully orchestrated to reflect the desired effect for each facility. Have you ever given thought to the first scent one experiences upon entering? It could be odorous or clinical, as we have all likely identified at some time. But why not freshly brewed coffee in the lobby, or the subtle scent of aromatherapy? This arrival experience involves all of the senses, some of which are outside the bounds of architecture and interior design. All experiences, however, can be planned for through proper consultation with your design professional.