Koen van Vuuren

Dwelling: Designing for Care in an Inclusive Environment

Building a Community

Getting older means becoming dependent and limited in everyday activities. Housing for the elderly in the Netherlands therefore combines care, basic functions and organised activities in large buildings. But such a living situation has the tendency to act as a golden cage where there is no urge to interact with the surrounding community. Loneliness can become increasingly severe for people living in such housing.

The elderly should be tempted to leave their golden cage and go into the public realm where they are able to socialise and be among other people. The environment should stimulate this behaviour by having functions that not only serve the elderly, so that they provide activity throughout the day. By simultaneously creating sub-communities within larger communities, both intimate as well as distant relations can be established. The end result is the activation and solution to a traditionally inactive and thus lonely housing situation.

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