A new Massachusetts senior care facility is one of the first of its kind to be integrated into a pre-existing planned community, meaning that its 80 residents aren’t set apart from the neighborhood, they’re part of it.

Residents of Laurelwood at the Pinehills enjoy art classes in the atrium studio, hear guest speakers in the event space, and listen to local musicians at the firepit alongside members of the greater Pinehills community. The 88,000-square-foot facility in Plymouth, Mass., developed by Burlington, Mass.-based Northbridge Cos. offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

Pinehills’ amenities not only meet the needs of residents but also to create a desirable destination for the greater Plymouth community, says Northbridge CEO Jim Coughlin. With a theater room designed for musical performances and plays and other spaces for informal gatherings or planned events, Laurelwood encourages groups of all ages to interact.

“More than just a senior living facility," says Northbridge CEO Jim Coughlin, "Laurelwood is living, period."

Located on a prominent spot in the Pinehills residential development, the 80-unit facility was designed as a senior living community without walls, says Michael Liu, vice president of The Architectural Team, the project’s architect. The Pinehills was named “Community of the Year” in the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) in January.

Liu and his team worked with Northbridge to provide a facility that would look and feel like the surrounding Pinehills community, and function as a true part of it rather than as a secluded or closed-off portion, he says. A gambrel roof and stained western red cedar shingle siding reflect the style of the Pinehills milieu, and natural materials such as exposed stone and wood cladding harmonize the design with the adjacent woodland, pond, and golf settings.

“Laurelwood at the Pinehills is a uniquely long and narrow property, which required a creative multi-level design," says Liu. "The end result is a delightfully atypical community that allows for full use of the wooded vistas, and that offers widely varied apartment layouts and amenity spaces – an uncommon feature in senior living environments.”

At completion, the Pinehills will include 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use space and 3,065 homes on only 30 percent of the land, preserving over 2,200 acres of open space. Already, over 500,000 square feet of mixed-use space exists in the Village Green and 2,000 families call The Pinehills home. Eleven builders build homes ranging from condominiums and apartments to custom and cottages.