the veldstraat | living

The Veldstraat is newly built location of care organisation Laurens in Rotter South. The project does not just concern providing accommodation to people suffering from dementia but also to elderly people with a somatic condition. In total there will be room for 131 residents. Plus, there are various support facilities, including a restaurant with kitchen, coffee bar, ship but also for example office space.

In this article we discuss the living floors of the building and the philosophy behind the design. We also developed the complete lay-out, atmosphere and appearance of the general functions on the ground floor. These can be found in the article about: THE VELDSTRAAT / HOSPITALITY

Independent versus group accommodation

Within the Veldstraat the residents with dementia can choose between group and independent accommodation. This makes the project rather unique, because also residents with a high care package can still live independently here. The apartments will also be suitable for residents with somatic conditions. The group accommodation offers room for small-scale living whereby 8 residents live and receive care together.

The building as border

The general vision within the building is that every resident must be able to move freely through the building. This means that residents, also residents with dementia, can move independently between the floors with the lift. The building has 6 floors in total and therefore it is required that every floor is readable and recognisable. And that especially at an intuitive level; it must clearly ‘feel’ like another floor as a floor number, especially by residents with dementia, will no longer be linked to a certain atmosphere or appearance. However, recognition points and intuitive design provide support in this.

The lounge as meeting place

Every floor, in particular for the residents of the individual apartments, has been given an own lounge area. This area is nicely situated on the corner of the building, with view on the light. Therefore, the rooms will be found easily. Thereby they become informal meeting places. Not just for the residents, but also for the family, private caregiver and care staff themselves. Every lounge has at least got a small pantry and seating area. The other lay-out varies per floor and is linked to the general identity of the floor.

Degree of incitement

To support residents in finding their way through the building every floor has been given a unique atmosphere and identity. This is structured to the level of incitements that will vary per floor. The level of incitement refers to the incitement of one or more senses. The level of incitement can both be increased by increasing the intensity of the incitements within one sense as be increasing or reducing this within various senses.

Within the hearing the incitements could, for example, be increased by offering several sounds at the same time or by increasing the sound level. But the level of incitement can also be increased by actively inciting several senses. For example, by not just offering a sound but also odour and feeling of fabrics (for example walls or elements).

The level of incitement that residents find pleasant is very individual. To assure that every resident can find a pleasant area in the building, each floor has been given its own level of incitement.

Each floor a unique identity and activity.

The level of incitement is linked to activities; from a low intensity to high intensity. In other words, from a ZEN/rest area to a music area. The sum of the senses, the extent of incitement and the type of activities provided room for the choice of an atmosphere and identity of the area. This way the atmosphere was created.

The empty area as canvas

In order not to make choices about the activities too early in the process and to be able to decide on this later it is decided to make the areas available for a number of activities. With this the areas, also without too much loose interior, would remain fascinated and interesting. Surface lay-outs for the floor and wall are developed for this. Whereby on the floor subtle transitions are strongly considered, easy to cross for people with dementia. The surface lay-outs results into the lay-out of the area and provides therefore a certain flexibility; with little lay-out a very fascinating area remains. Whereby the surface lay-out is not that compelling so there is plenty of freedom in term of lay-out.

The identity of the residential groups

The residential groups are on the first up to the third floor. They receive the atmosphere and appearance of the relevant floor, but also with an equal level of incitement. This is a quiet base, preferably with not enough incitements than too many. Depending on the group the level of incitement can be increased with loose interior.

As recognition of the own rooms of the residents large, photoprints are developed. These prints will be changed per resident. The pictures are provided by the family and refer to the memory of the resident. For example, this can be picture or the house in the past, or of a village or street.

As the pictures are placed variously orientation is created in the corridor at the same time. Due to the rhythmic approach it was difficult in the past to recognise which direction you walked to in the corridor. The clear markings ensure that you can intuitive find your way easier.

Independent co-habitation

Each floor has individual apartments. The fourth up to the sixth floor are thereby fully equipped with independent homes.

Especially for people with dementia there is a certain risk of isolation. Despite living in a large building and the focus on meeting each other, this can simply be forgotten sometimes. Thereby it is also sometimes nice for the care to be able to take a quick look into a home. And finally, it is pleasant to easily find an own apartment, to have recognition, but also to see and experience something in the corridors.

Therefore, windows are designed in the homes. These kitchen windows offer sufficient privacy but also provide light and view in the corridors. Residents can place something behind the window themselves to make the home more personal but also more recognisable.

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