This summer, construction will begin on Enso Village in Healdsburg, California. A collaboration between the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) and Kennett Square, Pennsylvania-based Kendal Corp., a Quaker-founded provider of communities and services for seniors, the 480,000-square-foot community will provide accommodations for those age 60 and over.
Spread out over more than 13 acres, Enso Village, part of a mixed-use community that spans a boutique hotel, restaurant, and retail and event spaces, will comprise 221 independent living homes, including 10 affordable units, 30 assisted living units, and 24 memory care units, all with spacious floor plans and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The residents, many of whom are retired SFZC teachers, share a respect for Zen Buddhism and Quaker principles, including simplicity, peace, spirituality, integrity, equality, and stewardship.
To capture this ethos, the design of Enso Village, by HKIT and Mithun Architects and Forrest Perkins, is characterized by natural materials like stone and wood. Equal parts calming and invigorating, the Zendo, the meditation hall, takes center stage in the north courtyard, and is complemented by abundant indoor and outdoor areas that encourage small group meetings and private reflection. All buildings are connected via airy walkways brimming with natural light.
Other highlights include a teaching kitchen, an indoor pool and sun deck in the south courtyard, a community garden, and a gym and bocce court. At the vegetarian-centric restaurant, complete with communal tables, full bar, and outdoor terrace, the cuisine will put local farms and fresh Sonoma County produce in the spotlight.
A version of this article was originally published by Environments for Aging.