The first prize winning proposal for the Nursing & Retiree Home, designed by Firma d.o.o., was directly influenced by the characteristics of the immediate surroundings of the plot. Through detailed site analysis, they concluded that the most important aspects of the context are the landscape and the extreme impact of the rural environment. Therefore, the proposed residence for the elderly, apart from fulfilling all functional prerequisites, must be consistent with those surrounding features. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Moreover, the first steps in the design process were guided by such parameters as maximum site occupancy, maximum height and the minimum distance between buildings. Following the logic of the low density and dispersed structure of the buildings in the surroundings, we proposed a fragmented concept, consisting of 4 pavilions, with the aim of creating a “neighborhood atmosphere” – a place with a balance between a “community” life stimulating the exchange and the relationship, but at the same time preserving the necessary privacy of each inhabitant. The first volume, located right between the “urban plot” and garden area contains public and common spaces, and is the only volume developed in two floors. The other three volumes have keep one floor height containing single and double rooms for 25 users. Each room has personal bathroom, designed without architectural barriers, and it is adapted to the needs of elderly people.
The important aspect of this concept is the orientation: all volumes are facing south, which means that users can take advantage of better insulation in the rooms and in common areas. Therefore, all volumes are perpendicular to the street in the east of the plot. The main entrance is located in the first pavilion (connecting directly to the common areas). Another important feature is the main communication in the form of a glass corridor that acts as a spine of entire project – both connecting and supporting elements of the building. Passing through this corridor, one can enjoy a rhythmic alternation of small gardens with views on both sides (east-west), and sequences of the interior spaces.
As for the overall composition, we opted for a horizontal configuration, fragmented low rise volumes and human scale spaces. The rhythm of the voids is quite simple and disciplined. The only volume that stands out from the composition is the first volume with its greatest height, thus representing the public spaces and emphasizing the main entrance. The resulting roof shape was derived from pitched roofs of the surrounding houses and interpreted in a more contemporary, harmonious composition.
From the beginning of the design process, we followed a very simple structural scheme, taking into account the economic constraints of the project. The entire construction may be developed with prefabricated steel structure, covered with prefabricated facade panel. These materials were chosen based on the low building cost criteria. Other external finishes include glass with metal, wood and white mortar.
Architects: Firma d.o.o. Location: Alava, Spain Project team: Dina Samic, Nermina Zagora Collaborator: Adis Kurtalic, Selma Masic Project area: 700 sqm Project Year: 2011 Typology: Ideas competition entry