This degree thesis deals with the design and the creation of collective housing for elderly people including communal facilities and various services. The housing doesn’t play the role of a clinic or of a residence for elderly people with severe health problems that require intensive and continuous caring from nurseling staff, because it can not provide such services.
The basic idea of the form of the proposed housing originate from the desire for a clear form with outdoor areas in its interior, and the desire for a housing which will be friendly to the elderly people -both in its form and internal organisation as well as in the way of living in it and using it. A residence that will strengthen and encourage its inhabitants to a more collective way of live and towards a more active daily routine, while it will provide them too with a sense of security and a feeling of “neighbourhood”.
The residential building is located in the district of Anavros in the city of Volos between two schools. The building is consisted of four independent linear residential units almost parallel to each other, which are linked with collective spaces that are placed vertical between them in a way to create three large central courtyards and open –air spaces in its interior.
The collective housing is developed around the site with individual building units of different height in each side, so to be avoided as much as possible the shading of the neighboring buildings and also to be achieved the best ventilation and sunlight for its units. This provision of the units, functions as a “natural border” with the surrounding buildings as well as a “filter” of visual protection for the interior of the housing. This provision also provides different vistas to each unit.
The housing contains 26 residential units, which can accommodate maximum 58 people. The residential units are not institutional and aim at senior citizens who seek a more collective way of life. They are designed to satisfy different models of life of elderly people through 3 basic types of housing units, allowing them to choose the degree of independence they would like to have as each wish or need individually. The residential units are autonomous and independent spaces from the rest facilities of the housing complex so its residents can live in them just as they would wish and behave in their "home". Furthermore, the public spaces and the various activities that are available to the them (e.g. choir room, dance, pottery, library, etc.) and the services (e.g. medical care, laundry, etc) that can be provided to the residents can significantly improve their daily lives.
The strengthening of social relationships between the inhabitants of the residences and the encouragement to create new “stronger” relations between them through the use of the collective spaces of the residence and through their cooperation and contribution is an important aim for this design proposal of this thesis. The collective and communal spaces of the housing differentiated and prioritized to “more” and “less” private areas.
Time and motion are important parameters to be able someone to understand this building as a whole, by walking around it and in its interior. It has been given particular emphasis in the design and the organization of the residence, both in the plans and on the facades of the housing, so to become a welcoming social environment not only for its users but also to the rest of neighborhood. Special needs of elderly were taking seriously into account in aim to create a safe environment for them that will provide the maximum freedom and variety of activities
The facades of this building complex are organized in a way to have a clear and district style both on the exterior of the building complex and on its interior. In my intentions, was the final result of the facades of the housing to be contemporary but also to have references in elements of old houses of Volos, either through the use of materials and colors that are familiar to the elderly people (e.g. marble, rock from Pelion, plaster in grey and white color , wood etc), or through the reuse and ‘adjustment” of local/traditional elements, like for example the white frames of the windows. The semi open-air areas of the residential building are designed like small “squares” or “patios” which are especially designed to be accessible to everyone and a pleasant environment.