The centre forms part of Morden College, a long-standing retirement community in Blackheath, southeast London, that is home to more than 300 senior residents.
As well as providing medical facilities that include doctor and physiotherapy consultation rooms, it offers a range of social and activity spaces such as a cafe, an events hall and an arts and crafts studio.
"Buildings can play a major part in supporting longer, healthier and independent lives," said Alex Ely, founding director at Mae Architects.
"The goal of the building is to foster a community atmosphere, allowing residents to live life to the full and have fun," he continued.
"It responds to growing evidence about the value of community in old age, the importance of preventing loneliness, especially as loneliness is twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people."
First established in 1695, Morden College's buildings include an almshouse and chapel attributed to St Paul's Cathedral architect Christopher Wren and built by master mason Edward Strong.
The John Morden Centre references these historic buildings in its materials palette. Instead of a traditional timber frame, it boasts a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure that is exposed internally, while the facade is red brick.
The design also includes contemporary reinterpretations of Wren's steeply pitched roofs, focal chimneys and, most importantly, cloisters.
Here, a cloister provides the building with a generous passageway that weaves between different social spaces, and provides seating niches that face out to a courtyard.
"The building is designed around a colonnade that runs the full length of the building," states Ely in a video about the project. "A series of pavilions hang off that colonnade."
This colonnade open up to the cafe, a double-height space where large windows and a skylight direct plenty of natural light onto the warm-toned timber walls and ceiling.
Either side of the cafe, the hall and workshop spaces provide opportunities for a range of activities that include fitness sessions, art classes and sports event screenings.
Other spaces include a snug, a winter garden and a patio terrace.
"The building is very flexible, and it's very much intended that the residents make it their own," said Ely.
"They will set up their own programmes, whether that's art classes or race nights," he said. "It allows the residents to really feel that it's theirs and they can help shape the life of that building."
The photography is by Jim Stephenson.
Client: Morden College
Interior designers: Scott-Masson Interior Design
Main contractor: Clive Graham Associates
Structural engineer: Michael Hadi Associates
M&E consultant: BOOM
Project manager: Calford Seaden
Quantity surveyor: Calford Seadon
Planning consultant: Stanway Little
Landscape designer: J&L Gibbons