Living through the last year, odds are we’ve all thought a lot about the idea of home. In early 2020, our homes were places where we stored our things, slept at night and hosted our friends and families. Come March, the meaning of home changed drastically. For some, it was a safe haven from the chaos of the world where we could bake bread and binge Netflix shows. For others, it turned into a point of pain, stress or Groundhog-Day-like repetition. Even as we start to emerge from the pandemic, what we expect from our personal spaces might never be the same.
One of our clients, Optima Inc., is well-versed in observing and responding to the evolving needs of residential real estate. Their human-centric design approach has helped them absorb everything 2020 threw at them, which they applied to one of their most recent projects, Optima Lakeview. As part of our brand strategy development for the building, we helped define their belief that exceptionally designed spaces and experiences elevate our personal sense of well-being, while inspiring us and those around us. But what does that mean for a post-COVID-19 world?
To start, it meant amplifying their focus on wellness to match a new definition of personal sense of well-being. Optima has always prioritized the wellness of their residents through their groundbreaking work in amenity spaces. Optima Lakeview is no different; 40,000 square feet of amenities features an indoor basketball court, golf simulator and putting green, fitness center, dog park, and Skydeck with ski resort-inspired pools that residents can enjoy year-round. While amenities are certainly a lifestyle perk, Optima takes them a step further as a resource for a holistic health journey.
Optima Lakeview also addresses self-actualization needs — inspiring us and those around us — especially for those feeling fatigued by dense city living. The real estate industry saw many migrate to the suburbs for more space and a quieter neighborhood; Optima Lakeview brings those same elements to a neighborhood so many Chicagoans know and love. The pandemic also heightened our need for community and connection, something Optima Lakeview also addresses as an out-of-the-ordinary multi-unit residence. Housing design — particularly in a city — has the power to combat the loneliness and isolation many felt over the last year, and Optima Lakeview is rising to the challenge. As David C. Hovey Sr., FAIA, CEO of Optima, Inc. explains, “Optima Lakeview is very much about drawing people in and helping them stay connected – either with the surrounding community or within the building itself.” Through hospitality-grade services, resident programming, community engagement, retail space and warm welcoming spaces, Optima Lakeview inspires residents to closeness and camaraderie, and addresses some of the lasting changes we’re seeing in the needs of our mental wellbeing.
Though the promises of 2021 may mean less time at home, there are lessons to be learned from the importance of a safe, welcoming space we can call home. We’re proud to work with clients like Optima who help manifest those spaces into a reality for many, proving over and over that exceptional design has the power to enhance the human experience.