Best International Design 2020: CCRC’s ‘Green Spine’ Maximizes Resident Engagement, Wellness

Imagine living in a suite overlooking an atrium that has the atmosphere of a healing garden, at other times is a venue for musicians or performers, and sometimes is a social gathering place for friends, family and neighbors.

This is the experience for older adults residing in care suites adjacent to the atrium winter garden at Rawhiti Estate, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Auckland, New Zealand.

The atrium winter garden is part of the community’s “green spine.”


“The idea is that as you come in, it’s part of a spine of nature and energy that goes on

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