Marlin and Doris Thomas Memory Center

Memory care home of the future

The Memory Care Center is NORD Architects’ first project in the Americas. We were commissioned to design a ‘memory care center’ by Willow Valley Community and we’re very excited to utilise our expertise from numerous European dementia villages and care homes and adapt our architecture to an American context in Philadelphia, USA.

The new center will be built in 2024 and operate as a person-centered assisted living community. It is designed to be a good home for residents, an inspirering work place for caregivers and welcoming centre for the surrounding community. It offers support, community and residencies for a wide range of people living with dementia, which allows the residents to always have the support required for their current state.

Wayfinding is an essential part of designing for memory care. Simple methods such as changing facade colours to give each section a unique identity can help the residents remember where to go. In addition the private rooms have private items in front of them that are significant to the resident. The layout of the rooms are also designed with direct views and accessibility to increase the independency of the residents.

The building materials are selected to create a sense of home, a warm and inviting atmosphere as well as low co2-emission. The construction is made from timber, the plaster from clay and doorframes and balconies also from wood.

“The future of architecture and design for people with dementia must be adaptable – to allow for various and changing abilities of the resident that should be supported as much as possible to lower the speed of progression in the condition. In addition, we want to ensure that the resident can stay in the Willow Valley as long as possible – regardless of the development of their dementia”

  • Location:

    Philadelphia, USA

  • Client:

    Willow Valley Communities

  • Year:

    2023-2025 (expected)

  • Typology:

    Memory Care Home

  • Status:


  • Visualisations: