Marlous Heikamp

Dwelling for Care

The veranda as the main element between the private and the community and the indoors and outdoors, providing purpose through all phases in life, as well as in the approach to death.

A home and landscape for a sense of purpose in late life

In the face of personal loss and negative biases from others, our last phase of life can be a challenge. We end up in care homes stripped away from our communities and desires. Fieldwork in a care home showed that most inhabitants felt like they had no purpose in life, some were ‘simply’ waiting to die. This is critical, as research shows that sensing a purpose in life is essential for human flourishment.

Situated in Driebergen, the project allows people to see purpose in late life through guiding gradients, derived via literature and case studies, fieldwork and interviews, that are essential in maintaining a sense of purpose in late life. The project is based on the veranda which acts as the main intermediate space for guiding all gradients and thus inhabitants. Surrounding this veranda is a community that functions as a way to create trust, safety and purpose for people in late life, giving them a reason to get up in the morning.