The existing elderly home in Merksem will be rebuilt and expanded. Besides the approximately 180 beds of the elderly home, there will also be a daycare center with a capacity of 15 inhabitants, a neighborhood community center and around 90 care apartments. The overall plan is divided in 3 zones with each their own atmosphere.
The building site is situated in a residential neighborhood, with terraced housing surrounding the project. By adding a corner shaped building to the existing houses on the south side we create an enclosed building block. The north side will be left open as a public park adding some green to the neighborhood. The neighborhood community centre with its restaurant will be located centrally in this park. About 50 care apartments on top of this community center provide the luxury of living in the middle of this green park.
Two parts of the elderly home plus 40 care apartments are gathered in the L-shaped building. The ground floor along the park accommodates the communal facilities like the kitchen and the day centre. The building is 4 stories high with 5 story exception along the park. Where the building faces the neighboring terraced houses the volume is reduced to 3 stories.
The collective garden surrounded by the L-shaped building has its own intimate atmosphere. The third part of the elderly home is located in this garden in a curved volume of 2 stories high.
Finding a good balance between the systematic big-scale organization of an elderly home and the human scale of living in it, was an important challenge to us. With a bottom up approach we gave priority to the inhabitants and their needs. We tried to integrate the elderly home in the neighborhood while subtly responding to the specific aspects of care. All the housing units are suitable for different demands in care and can adapt to the needs of their inhabitants. This way we offer the inhabitants the possibility of a personalized home that is adaptable to the ever changing needs in care.