Rockwood at

Rockwood Retirement Communities
Spokane, WA
Completion date
June 2023

Rockwood Retirement Communities, a mission-driven non-profit serving the Inland Northwest, sought to redevelop its existing community in North Spokane, Washington into a connected campus that would offer residents a senior living experience like no other. 

Driven by a desire to create a campus that would connect all levels of care, both physical and social, Rockwood partnered with RDG Planning & Design to create Rockwood at Whitworth, a completely redeveloped community that encourages intergenerational relationships and cultural enrichment in a vibrant, comfortable and inviting neighborhood environment.

Situated in north Spokane on 8 park-like acres, Rockwood at Whitworth offers easy access to local shopping, restaurants, entertainment recreation. The two-phase project connects two existing buildings: Palvella Glen and Northland. Palvella Glen, phase one of the design, creates a new assisted living and memory care community and features 48 assisted-living apartments and 24 memory care suites for a combined total of 76,286 SF. The three-story building fulfills a long-time need for these services within the community and enhances the continuum of care across the campus. Following phase one completion, work began on phase two; Northland is a 234,740 SF independent living apartment building that encompasses 117 apartments and a centralized amenity-rich commons building. 

To visually unite the two spaces, RDG's interior design incorporates the same finish palette for the main flooring, wall paint and trim across both buildings and transitions each building through different vignettes of bold colors and warm natural textures. Taking notes from a natural Pacific Northwest palette, the design invokes a contemporary style with touches of mid-century-inspired furniture and an eclectic blend of metallic and natural wood accents, while local photography placed throughout highlights surrounding nature and area landmarks. 

In addition to connecting all levels of care, RDG's design creates an event space (something that was missing in the original building) where residents of both communities have access to restaurants, a pub, a library, a multi-purpose room, a cardio and fitness studio and light-filled lounge spaces for gathering. The design further supports an active and engaged lifestyle by prioritizing connection to nature through ample natural light, views of surrounding trees and access to a large adjoining courtyard.

In addition to creating new common spaces for socializing, RDG's design strategically places amenities within the apartment buildings to encourage spontaneous connection, engagement and conversation. These additional spaces include a theater, salon and an arts and crafts space. 

Independent living elevator lobby sitting area. Each floor is identified by one of two colors to assist in wayfinding.
Commons Dining offers flexible seating and is the center of all activity located between the multipurpose room, pub, outdoor patio, and is the first amenity you see when entering from the assisted living connection corridor.
The commons area juice and coffee Bar “Rituals” is a fun, brightly-colored space for residents to start their day with their friend “Joe” and their favorite cup o’ joe in the morning or recover with a smoothie after finishing up a fitness or yoga class around the corner.
The library and business center offers a quiet nook off the lobby where residents and family can find their next great read, check their email or the news for the day and settle into the comfortable lobby lounge seating.
Residents and their friends and family are welcomed to the community at the concierge desk with a warm natural wood backdrop, green wall hospitality bar, natural light and view of the dual-sided fireplace in the distance drawing you in and beyond to the central courtyard.
The central courtyard offers a combination of dining with full-service waitstaff and lounge seating with multiple opportunities to enjoy an outdoor fire. Bands, dancing and outdoor lawn games take place here day or night. Residents with balcony views on 3-sides of the courtyard can continue the festivities from the comfort of their own home.
Pub 101 is a full bar defined by quartz-capped half walls inviting conversation and engagement from passers-by and allowing light and views to the outdoors to be captured. Immediately adjacent is the sports lounge with a large TV and games. The pub extends to another outdoor patio with bocce ball and lounge seating.