51N4E . photos: © FILIP DUJARDIN

The addition of 54 new care units offers a unique opportunity to complete the – rather haphazard – structure of the original caretaking centre.

The positioning of a 4.400 m² program on a virtual filled up site of 7.460 m² led to kneading the program into a trident volume. This offers the possibilities to address the suburban situation on multiple levels. The gardens around the premises are changed from residual patches of green into defined autonomous yards of either introverted or very public character. The latter are new connections within the city that define also the front facades and give access to the building. The terrace on the first floor becomes a belvedere, overlooking the surrounding urban diversity.
The generously opened up facades enable the residents and the staff to fully enjoy the gardens around. The facades materialize towards public spaces in shiny red glazed tiles, to more intimate or functional spaces in light grey plaster. Inside, an open network of over scaled bright hallways leads to the different living units. Each room is doubled, offering both a living space and a bedroom area to the residents. The sleeping area with low large windows focuses on complete privacy, whilst the living room offers the exact opposite. Large sliding doors enable the residents to expand their private living area into the hallway, immersing themselves in the daily life of the home, following the activities of the staff, other residents, visitors or passers-by outside.
Besides fulfilling todays energy standards, the integration of an elderly home in a city fabric and the society is the key feature of a social sustainability. The OCMW Nevele is looking for a productive relation with its context far beyond its plot. It shows how a single building can have the urban influence to change a site and its perception.

Project team:
Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Kelly Hendriks, Aline Neirynck, Karel Verstraeten, Bob De Wispelaere, Tine Cooreman, Joram Van Den Brande, Maddalena Treccani, Tom Baelus

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