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SA's San Sereno recognised in Argentum 2020 Senior Living by Design Awards

San Sereno, an Auria Senior Living (Auria) community in the Johannesburg suburb of Bryanston, was named one of five winners of the Argentum 2020 Senior Living by Design Awards.

Based in the US, Argentum supports companies operating professionally managed, resident-centred senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. The annual Senior Living by Design Awards recognises architects, design firms and senior living providers who create quality senior living communities in innovative ways. Winners are selected by an independent panel of four judges from the fields of architecture, design and senior living.

The judges are selected based on their experience in various disciplines including interior design, architecture, innovation, operations, and resident care as they relate to senior housing. They evaluate each submission on aspects of design innovation and operational excellence in areas of memory care, local town/community engagement, family engagement, wellness building/sustainability, resident engagement, resident health and wellness, and/or resident safety.

Of the five winners of the 2020 Senior Living by Design Awards, San Sereno was the only entry from outside the US.


Continuing care retirement community


San Sereno is what is internationally termed a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Based on the idea that most people would prefer to ‘age in place’, a CCRC is designed to operate as a single campus environment in which people have a continuum of living options available to them.

San Sereno was acquired in 2017 and extensively renovated to create the residence that it is today for over 350 residents. Set on a 33-acre site in the upmarket suburb of Bryanston, it comprises 214 independent living units (houses and apartments) as well as 50 assisted living units and a dementia care facility. Communal areas were extensive, yet dated.

The renovation included a newly built café/bistro, formal restaurant, lounge, hair salon, indoor swimming pool, cinema, yoga/pilates studio and gym. The new building wing capitalised on the views over the lawn-bowling green, while a new card room, billiard room, library and concierge area was created by reconfiguring the existing internal layout.


Live site renovation


San Sereno was renovated as a ‘live site’ – with residents continuing to occupy it as it underwent its transformation. This necessitated careful planning and design, including the off-site manufacturing of many components.

“The impact of this project will be felt far beyond its boundaries, as it ushers in a new typology for senior living in South Africa,” said Senior Living by Design judge Cynthia Shonaiya, principal at U.S. architecture and design firm Hord Coplan Macht. “The spaces are beautiful and liveable,” added another judge, Bruce Hurowitz, principal at Merlino Design Partnership.

“We are proud and honoured to have received this award. It shows that we can indeed change the face of the industry in the South African context, and provide places in which seniors can grow older with dignity and enjoyment in environments that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world” says Auria founder and CEO Barry Kaganson.
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