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Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus: A Modern Hub Serving Marin’s Older Adults and Their Families

Updated: Jun 13

Informed Infrastructure | May 16, 2024

MBH Architects, an award-winning architecture and design firm headquartered in Alameda, CA, in collaboration with Eden Housing and Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP, proudly announces the completion of Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus, a forward-looking project designed to redefine the experience of aging in Marin County. This muti-faceted campus, situated as a central hub for Marin’s older adults and their families, represents a significant milestone in enhancing the quality of life for seniors in the region.

Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus boasts dynamic, multi-use spaces meticulously crafted to meet the diverse needs of its community. From a warm reception area welcoming visitors with open arms to a fully-equipped healthcare clinic to be operated by Marin Community Clinics complete with six exam rooms and specialized areas for phlebotomy, the first floor sets a precedent for excellence in care. Gender-neutral restrooms further reinforce inclusivity and accessibility, reflecting Vivalon’s commitment to serving all members of the community.

Ascending to the Vivalon Healthy Aging Center on the second floor reveals spaces aimed at fostering connection, learning, and meaningful engagement for older adults. The Vivalon Café, equipped with a warming kitchen operated by dedicated volunteers, serves as a culinary oasis inviting residents and visitors alike to savor moments of togetherness. Additionally, a computer lab outfitted with 12 terminals and large screens offers connectivity for all.

The art studio, a vibrant space bursting with creativity, facilitates the transformative power of expression. Here, Vivalon members can unleash their artistic side in an environment designed to inspire and nurture. Two classrooms, thoughtfully designed to accommodate a myriad of activities ranging from language classes to book clubs, seamlessly transform into a conference room with the removal of a sleek dividing screen that easily tucks away into a built-in niche, embodying the ethos of adaptability and versatility.

A library and lounge area were thoughtfully designed as places where members can unwind in the pages of a beloved book or enjoy a lively game of Mahjong. Meanwhile, a versatile auditorium offers a stage for performances, a studio for dance classes, and seating for theater viewing. With features such as velvet curtains, and dance flooring, the auditorium serves as a place where members and guests experience Vivalon’s commitment to holistic well-being.

The fitness studio, replete with weights, yoga mats, and table tennis, provides members with a variety of classes that prioritize their physical health and wellness. With windows looking out at views of towering Mount Tamalpais the fitness studio is a place for reflection and recreation.

In response to the unique challenges posed by the post-COVID era, the design of Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus prioritizes safety, security, and health above all else. From fully ADA-compliant features to comforting organic patterns designed to accommodate varying levels of visibility, every aspect of the campus has been designed with the well-being of its residents and guests in mind. To ensure optimal air quality, the campus employs cutting-edge technology, including fans from Big Ass Fans with UV-C technology. These fans not only circulate air but also harness the power of UV-C light to eradicate harmful germs, viruses, and bacteria. The fans draw air up while sending clean air down.

MBH Architects’ Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) team played a pivotal role in enhancing the functionality and aesthetics of Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus. Tasked with creating a comprehensive wayfinding and signage program, MBH executed wayfinding signage for the interior spaces on the first and second floors. This encompassed signage within the clinic, wayfinding to and within Vivalon’s programmatic rooms, donor recognition graphics, and a focal donor recognition wall along the main staircase.

Inspired by Vivalon’s playful brand, MBH translated its essence into a signage and wayfinding program that energized the space and unified its multifunctional areas. Drawing from the organic elements of Vivalon’s online presence, the EGD concept incorporated playful and calming waves symbolizing positive energy and vitality. The use of Vivalon’s primary green colors throughout the signage and wayfinding elements not only introduced the brand into the physical space but also complemented the design’s selected finishes.

The unique details of the Vivalon logo informed the design exploration for the signage shape and icon sets, creating a motif that was carried into custom iconography with pointed and soft corners, mirroring the logo’s characteristics. This cohesive design language not only facilitated navigation but also seamlessly integrated the Vivalon brand into the space, reflecting its uplifting, playful, and vibrant essence.

To ensure visibility for varying abilities of site, high contrast color combinations were selected from Vivalon’s color palette. Dark green with light grey text ensures high levels of visibility through the corridor while intentionally integrating the Vivalon brand into each sign.

A focal point of the EGD implementation was the donor recognition wall ascending the main stairwell. Designed to complement the architectural finishes of the stairwell railing, the wall features a mural of soft greens, blues, and purples forming a wave motif that guides patrons up the stairs. Translucent green acrylic tiles adorned with the names of generous donors create dimension within the installation, with tile size and placement denoting the contribution amount.

Vivalon’s Healthy Aging Campus represents more than just a physical space; it embodies a vision of community, connection, and compassion. As Marin County’s premier destination for healthy aging, it stands as a beacon of hope, resilience, and possibility for generations to come.


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