We Marked Our Six-Month Anniversary With an Industry Award!

January 6, 2023

In mid-December, just six months after we welcomed the first residents to their new homes at The Variel, we were named among the winners of the 2022 Architecture & Design Awards by Senior Housing News (SHN).

We’re thrilled to have received such an accolade so soon. Nearly 100 organizations across the U.S. and in other countries participated in this year’s awards, which featured 15 categories in all. The Variel garnered third-place honors in the Wellness: Health & Fitness category.

The annual SHN Architecture & Design competition has been recognizing leading-edge design, excellence and innovation in senior living since 2013.

In a press release announcing this year’s winners, George Yedinak, SHN’s founder, said, “The 2022 SHNA winners demonstrate bold creativity and execution that has set a new precedent for senior living architecture and design in a rapidly transforming industry.”

Judging the Competition

A panel of 16 industry experts evaluated the nominees in each category, assessing how well they met an established set of design and aesthetic criteria, including:

  • Layout
  • Universal design elements
  • Color/light
  • Creativity
  • Sustainability
  • Exterior views, including landscape architecture

The panel also evaluated features that incorporate a healthy lifestyle and provide residents access to products and services that make their lives easier.

Nominees in the Wellness: Health & Fitness category all had new or renovated wellness-related facilities, such as aquatic centers; yoga, music or art studios; or spas.

All communities participating in the competition were also evaluated as a whole, including unique features and their overall value to residents and the local area.

Zenergy: Our Future-Focused Approach to Wellness

We chose to compete in the Wellness: Health & Fitness category because we were confident that our Zenergy wellness center, and our whole Zenergy program, would shine among any other communities in this category. And we were right!

Here’s what Josh Johnson, co-founder of Momentum Senior Living, The Variel’s management company, said about Zenergy in our submission for the award:

“We saw it as part of our job to make sure our inherently busy, energetic residents live in an environment that helps them remain independent and active. A unique way we achieved that is through our personalized Zenergy wellness center. It combines a variety of exercise equipment, yoga and tai chi spaces, spa, massage, physical therapy with full-time therapist on staff, golf simulator and more in a single area of the community.

“The entire Zenergy program also incorporates access to lifelong learning programs, social activities and other life-fulfilling opportunities for all.”

Wellness in Memory Care at The Variel

The Variel offers an innovative option for memory care in Woodland Hills as well. With our MOSAIC Personalized Care, we were sure to call attention to that in our submission for the SHN Architecture & Design Awards.

MOSAIC has two levels of care: the Mezzanine program, for those with early to mid-stage memory loss, and our customized Tessera program, for those with more advanced Alzheimer’s disease or memory disorders.

We purposely designed The Variel with memory care on the top floor of the building. Here’s why this factors into the wellness of residents in the memory care area of our community:

  1. Architecturally, we were able to design the area so it captures more daylight, which helps to sync residents’ circadian rhythms.“By capturing the broadest amount of sunlight and night, we help our memory care residents who suffer from sundowning by leveling the light/dark, sleep/wake cycles,” Josh Johnson noted in the awards submission.
  2. It provides an additional measure of security for our memory care area because we can control floor access through our secure elevators. This is particularly beneficial for residents who might have a tendency to wander or become confused, as it greatly reduces their risk of becoming lost.

More to Appreciate About The Variel

As we mentioned, the judges assessed each of the nominees on an overall basis, in addition to category-specific criteria. In our award submission, we were prompted to provide additional information about The Variel in the following areas:

  • Design style and inspiration. Inspired by the experience of a luxury boutique hotel or resort, The Variel’s design reflects comfortable, approachable West Coast luxury. The textures, tones and colors are classic. They’re intended to feel familiar, not trendy.
  • Community integration features. We’ve incorporated welcoming spaces throughout The Variel where residents, family members and guests can gather and enjoy a variety of shared experiences.
  • Amenities and lifestyle features. Our community is designed to offer residents all they desire, right here at home:
    • A health club
    • Restaurants
    • A theater
    • Rooftop lounges
    • A juice bar
    • A golf simulator
    • A spa
    • An art studio
    • Planned social events multiple times a week

Collectively and separately, these amenities can inspire the imagination, lower stress levels, stimulate engagement and add more fun to each day.

Now There’s Award-Winning Senior Living in Woodland Hills

If you’re considering a move to a retirement community in Woodland Hills for yourself or a loved one, we encourage you to come experience The Variel. You can see firsthand why we’re already winning awards so soon after opening our doors.

Whether you’re exploring options for independent living, assisted living or memory care, you’ll find that we offer an enriching lifestyle and a fresh, uplifting environment.

Contact us to schedule a one-on-one visit that’s convenient for you.