Related Companies and Atria Senior Living


Handel Architects

No. of Units

209 Residences

Project Scale

17,000 sf


Interior Architecture (hard finishes / detail) and FF&E design for all residences and amenities



A Reinvention of Senior Living at the Highest Level

When Related Companies and Atria Senior Living approached MAWD regarding the design of Coterie, a visionary collaboration aimed at offering an unrivaled retirement lifestyle in prime locations, the assignment was to create interiors featuring luxury amenities, elevated culinary experiences, concierge services, and forward-thinking programs that would offer engaging environments for people who expect to get more out of each day.

MAWD welcomed the challenge, taking the time to research and truly understand Coterie residents — who they are and what they are passionate about. The resulting overall design aesthetic at Coterie Cathedral Hill is "sophisticated casual," with high-end finishes throughout. Each room feels welcoming, with a color palette of light, neutral, and earthy tones to compliment the backdrop of San Francisco.

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The first project of its kind, the Coterie brand sets a new standard in later-life living. Through MAWD’s work with Related Companies and Atria Senior Living, our studio was able to achieve a balance between world class amenities, hospitality-inspired design, and the latest wellness technologies creating an unmatched experience for a highly-discerning audience

— Elliot March, MAWD
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Rethinking the Approach

In preparation for the project, MAWD visited existing properties targeted at the audience, taking time to research and truly understand Coterie's residents, gaining insight into their characters, values and goals.

Who they are and what they are passionate about – including rich cultural experiences, life long learning, and engaging social activities – informed the design of both the 25,000 sf of amenities and 209 residences.

MAWD designed the interiors with the residents’ specific needs in mind, considering seat and arm heights, lengths of banquettes, and the weight of the pieces themselves – allowing residents to enjoy each space with ease.

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Audience-Specific Design

The Cathedral Hill property offers a variety of entertaining opportunities as entertaining, while social, is very personal.

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The Coterie resident has an active social life

Spaces need feel animated to be alive, and MAWD considered entertainment programming in terms of both active and passive functions as well as how they flow together. The Coterie interiors allow for formality when desired and spontaneity in moments of delight.

Residents can have one-on-one dinners in the dining room, or host a large group in the private dining room, which also features access to an impressive wine collection.

Rather than generic lounge spaces, MAWD designed a series of rooms, including a library, screening room and activity room, that are designed for different moments, be it a book club meeting, a cup of coffee with a friend, or a bridal shower for a grandchild.

From the overall concept to seemingly small details, the main goal was enhancing each resident’s lifestyle.

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MAWD's EXCD priorities carry on into the project's look and feel

MAWD custom designed the project’s furniture to fit the needs of the Boomer demographic. Each coffee table was designed to have rounded edges to minimize the chance of residents bumping into the sides of protruding corners. The standard bar height has been lowered to ensure easy access for those in wheelchairs, and beautifully concealed walker storage options have been designed within close proximity to where residents sit and dine. Similarly, furniture throughout the residence has been tested for stability.

In terms of wellness innovation, MAWD utilized circadian lighting in all memory care units, which helps to mimic the sun’s light pattern, and naturally regulate sleep / wake cycles for homebound residents. Operating similarly to the “night shift” setting on your desktop computer, this innovation helps to illuminate how design technologies positively impact resident health.

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We wanted Coterie to evoke a specific feeling – for spaces to have a specific mood. MAWD designed spaces that would support their ability to live their best lives.

— Elliot March, MAWD
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Practically Elegant

Within the private residences, the layouts are extremely welcoming and home-like, as well as functional, designed with wool carpet in the bedrooms, recessed lighting, herringbone hardwood floors, Elfa closet systems, and granite sinks and quartz countertops.

Kitchens are designed as beautiful millwork and feature everything a resident would need to cook, if they so choose.

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An Graceful Balance

The residences striking a stunning balance of authentic, casual luxury and sophisticated comfort.

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