St. Johns on the Lake

Milwaukee, WI
New Construction
Connecting Residents to Urban Energy

At A Glance

  • SUMMARY:  New independent housing and parking structure
  • IN ASSOCIATION: Perkins Eastman
  • SIZE: 21 stories; 88 units, 290,000 total sf, 90-stall replacement parking garage, 155-stall, 2-level underground parking
  • COMPLETION: June 2011 New tower, June 2008 parking structure
  • CONSTRUCTION COST: $48.2 million total cost, $3.1 million replacement parking structure
  • OWNER: St. John’s Communities
Get in touch

Project Overview

Complex, Fast-Tracked Project

Continuum, in association with Perkins Eastman, designed a new 21-story tower that added 88 independent living units to a campus that already included assisted living and skilled care units. Continuum was responsible for the core and shell design; the two floors of below ground parking that provides a total of 155 stalls; as well as the surface pick up/drop off zones that maximize resident and visitor convenience. The below grade parking garage was connected to the existing garage eliminating the need for a new receiving area.

Before this expansion could begin, however, Continuum was asked to develop construction documents to repair and renovate the existing 1960-era, 80-stall parking structure that was nestled between the 10-story tower and the 4-story skilled care mid-rise tower. This work needed to be completed prior to the construction of the tower that was being located on an existing surface parking lot. During investigations of the existing post-tensioned parking structure, the severity of the structural deficiencies became better known, to the point where the client decided to completely demolish, remove, and reconstruct the parking structure.

The project still needed to be fast-tracked as any extra time would delay the construction start on the new tower. The replacement structure had to fit in the same footprint as the original due to the existing buildings. Design through construction took only six months from start to finish while also adding a green roof. The green roof garden plaza ties into the campuses existing trees and plant colors. The entire campus with its new roof top gardens includes undulating pathways, plazas and seating areas the offer spectacular views to the lake and the city’s adjacent lakefront park.

Connecting Residents to Urban Energy

The new residents of St. John’s were offered numerous options to customize their homes: 22 different layouts ranging from 1,135 to 2,460 square feet–all with incredible views of the city and lakefront.

The Town Center on the first floor unites the campus via two generous connectors that give residents easy access to new amenities, while forming a highly-landscaped courtyard around an existing chapel. The Town Center includes an expanded wellness center with full-service spa, enhanced fitness equipment, and state-of-the-art pool. It also houses multi-purpose performance space, an extensive gallery day-lit by a curved glass wall, and a new public bistro. Upon completion, the south tower knits the homes of new residents with the existing residents and the entire campus with the surrounding community—connecting residents to the urban energy.


  • Best Multifamily Residential/Hospitality Project Award, ENR Midwest Magazine, 2012
  • Mayor’s Design Award, City of Milwaukee, 2012
  • Design for Aging Review, AIA, 2012
  • Silver Award, Independent Living, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 2012
  • Best New Development- residential, The Business Journal, 2012
  • Wisconsin Ready Mix Concrete Association, Design Award, 2012
  • Top Project, The Daily Reporter/ Wisconsin Builder, 2011
Get in touch

Similar Projects