Design Center


The Inn at Spruce Wood

Project Summary
Type of Facility/Setting: Independent and Assisted Living, and Alzheimer’s/Memory Care
Owner: Charles River Senior Living, LLC
Chief Administrator: Denise Cadorette, Executive Director, (603) 659-1100
Architecture: David M. White, Architect, (603) 497-3405
Interior Design: Kentco Corporation, (781) 740-6200
Photography: ¬2004 Thomas Photography, LLC
Capacity: 40 assisted living, 35 independent living, and 25 Alzheimer’s/memory-impaired units
Total Project Area (sq. ft.): 80,000
Construction Costs: not released
Cost/Sq. Ft.: not released

Be our guest

Reminiscent of the charming country inns and historic roadhouses across New England, The Inn at Spruce Wood welcomes residents and families with an eclectic colonial design reflecting the local vernacular and community culture. “As many small communities resist large construction projects, we really went all out to provide a ‘socially acceptable’ design scheme and ensure that people would feel comfortable in the space,” explains interior design consultant and furniture supplier Danny Cocio.

“The environment in which seniors live greatly affects their ability to function and enjoy a high quality of life; therefore, enhancing seniors’ happiness and quality of life is critical to their overall well-being,” says Denise Cadorette, executive director of The Inn at Spruce Wood. She adds, “We wanted to project a hospitality image where residents and families could discover the many ‘familiar’ social spaces, from the country kitchen and library to the family dining room-places where they could visit family outside their bedrooms.” Regarding the library Cocio comments, “Residents really use it, because the collection, which is maintained and rotated by the local Durham Public Library, includes large-print editions and books on tape.”

Architect David White explains some of the design-versus-code challenges of this project, including the concealing of firewalls that separate the units, which cannot be seen from the outside. Also, the 12-in-12 roof pitch is characteristic of local architecture but hides the rooftop mechanical equipment.

White feels the project is successful because it maintains the design continuity of a single structure outside, while having distinct layouts inside that support three levels of care. Cadorette adds, “A single greeting point also supports our mission by recognizing all our residents as equal, despite their different required levels of care.”

Further describing the level of thought that went into the interiors, Cocio shares the design team’s philosophy of making the project a reflection of the local community, from the architectural and interior design styles to the artwork programs’ being based on local themes. Much of the furniture was also produced by local sources and, in some cases, custom-fabricated based on strict geriatric design criteria.


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