Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Nursing & Retiree Home in Alava, Spain by Firma d.o.o.
November 24th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Firma d.o.o.
Our proposal was directly influenced by the characteristics of the immediate surroundings of the plot. Through detailed site analysis, we concluded that the most important aspects of 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.
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.
Material and detailing strategies:
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