Larsen Health Center at Shell Point Retirement Community, Fort Myers, Florida: 2023 EFA Design Showcase Honorable Mention

The Larsen Health Center at Shell Point Retirement Community brings a refreshed vision for skilled nursing to the continuing care retirement community in Fort Myers, Fla.

The project, submitted to the Design Showcase by RDG Planning & Design and Wegman Design Group, replaced a 50-year-old building. The 195,000-square-foot project houses not only 162 private units and nine companion rooms but also a 35,000-square-foot ground floor for comprehensive clinical services that are available to Shell Point’s 2,200 campus residents.

Additionally, the $61 million project’s coastal location inspired a goal of ensuring resident safety in the event of a major storm. To that end, the exterior envelope is designed to withstand 180 mph hurricane winds and the skilled nursing rooms on level two are built at an elevation above a Category 5 storm surge.

Senior resident room features

Jurors appreciated resident rooms that offer features including lighting control options and automatic solar shades as well as a recessed sliding door to the bathroom that minimizes door swings while maintaining resident privacy. Sunrooms designed in the spirit of local lanais face west on each residential floor.

Jurors also called out the project’s response to staff needs, including a colorful, light-filled employee café; break rooms on each floor; and centrally located nurses’ stations that allow sight lines into activity and dining spaces and immediate interaction with those arriving via elevators.

For more on the 2023 Design Showcase award winners, go here.

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis is brand director of Environments for Aging and can be reached at