The Freshwater Group and Watermark have long believed that good design is just as critical in seniors housing as it is in all environments, especially those for healing. Good design incorporates the thoughtful use of light, color, mass and voids, landscape architecture and other design elements. Far too often, such elements are woefully absent from the start or value engineered out of many development projects. TFG takes a stand by emphasizing good design in every project, whether it is from the ground up or a renovation. This commitment is reflected in many ways, from retaining the best architectural and design teams to collaborative involvement of its team in every facet of the design from start to finish.  Intense attention to detail is required for the successful implementation of good design.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Freshwater called on the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture to help design a new community for seniors living with dementia.  This early collaboration led to a residential model that looked and felt like a large home.  Comprised of 10 bedrooms for 17 residents, the prototype concept was built in Tucson and proved to be successful both experientially and operationally. Nearly 20 years later, TFG and Watermark continue to perfect their design and operation of residential memory care programs, from Connecticut to California.

Looking to the future, TFG is excited about forming a new affiliation with the Institute on Place and Wellbeing (UAIPW), an interdisciplinary partnership of the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) as well as the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.  Under the leadership of Dr. Esther Sternberg, UAIPW seeks to redefine human health to fully encompass the role and relationship of built and green environments in health, wellbeing and healing. TFG and Watermark hope to work on many research projects with this new organization.