Aging in Africa / HWKN

Aging in Africa / HWKN

HWKN has completed their schematic design phase for their recent project, Aging in Africa, which will move toward construction in the beginning of next year. The project, a retirement community for Catholic priests, (who are excluded from the traditional, family based, model of elder care in Cote D’Ivoire), will be the first age-valued community on the African continent. This simplistic approach to housing will create an environment which is well-suited for the users-where the elderly will be safe and comfortable, and continue to maintain a meaningful and healthy lifestyle.

More about the project after the break.

The project is specifically geared toward the users, and deploy a holistic set of social, economic and environmentally sustainable theories pertaining to elder living and care.  ”It is about architecture that does not just house caring, it is architecture as the caring device.   Our hope is that it is an inspiration for a new breed of community that values the efficacy of spirit over efficiency of care,” explained the architects.

Situated between the Atlantic and an inland lagoon, the project is organized like a typical Cote D’Ivoire village around a central spine which stretches North/South from existing streets to capture the site’s prevailing winds.  Perforations along the perimeter let the natural vegetation grow into the village and capitalize on the stunning views towards the water.

The single story residential buildings frame the village’s spine whereas the more public buildings are centered on the village axis to reinforce their communal function. Based on simple geometries, the building shapes tilt and fold in relationship to each other, yet with an individual expression.

The peaks of the church employ a simple geometry that yields an iconic form that is at once a novel and familiar type of sacred space.


LOCATION: Lagoon Aby, Cote D’Ivoire



CLIENT: Foundation Saint Joseph d’Arimathie

SCOPE: Concept Design, Schematic Design, Design Development.

STATUS: Schematic Design Completed Fall 2009; Start construction scheduled beginning of 2011

PROJECT TEAM: Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner, Robert May, Marc Perrotta, and KimByung Kyun

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Cite: Karen Cilento. "Aging in Africa / HWKN" 10 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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