Mt. San Antonio Gardens


In May of 2013 the State of California approved a new era of nursing home care with the opening of the state's first certified Green House homes at Mt. San Antonio Gardens, a senior community in Claremont on 29 acres. The opening of this prototype facility designed by this office has ushered in a new wave of similar projects as legislation designed to encourage a small-home approach to skilled nursing was passed by Jerry Brown through the efforts of this office, the Client, and a private foundation. The process to approve this prototype project and combine three Union trades into one took 3 1/2 years by this office and Client working together. Specially trained certified nursing assistants, called "Shahbazim", will staff each residence and provide a wide range of assistance, including: personal care, activities, meal preparation and service, light housekeeping, and laundry.

A total of 20 residents will live at the Evergreen Villas in two residential 7,000 SF neighborhood homes master planned around a secured garden environment including an organic vegetable garden where elders can be involved in the gardening. The houses open on all sides into lush garden patios with covered trellises.

The architectural style is contextual contemporary with the massing in scale with the surrounding neighborhood of single family houses. Each house has ten private bedrooms and bathrooms with an open plan Great Room, dining area, den, sitting area, fireplace, and open kitchen alcove. Other amenities include a private personal laundry and a health and beauty spa with a therapy tub.

The vaulted Great Room is the heart of the home with transparent stained heavy timber posts and beams, oiled western red cedar ceilings, and bamboo flooring used throughout; all unique building materials used in this type of facility for the first time. Clear story windows and 25' wide glass wall alcoves provide a natural light interior and open on to private garden patios. Unique to the Green House® is the large open kitchen that invites the elders to chat with or participate with the Shabazim as they prepare the meals. No other skilled nursing facility in the state has a fully licensed, primary food preparation kitchen that is completely open to the living space and allows elders to participate. A Den provides a place for small private family gatherings as well as for family members to stay overnight while visiting.

This project was recently certified by OSHPD in July of 2013 and the first elders moved in October of 2013. The Evergreen Villas have been a huge success and this office has planned for more Green House® homes into the campus master plan. Senior communities from all over the State have toured the Green House® Project in contemplation of building their own.

The project was designed using sustainable materials, products and procedures and has is awarded LEED Silver Certification. This office provided complete design services, construction observation, and entitlements with the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development.