The main objective of the interior design was to create rooms that emphasise the personality and individuality of the nursing home’s residents. The design concept promotes their independence, while at the same time responding to the specific needs of elderly people. Even during a stay in a nursing home, its residents should be able to lead a life of dignity and security, and ideally, feel completely at home there. The home is on a single level that is organised in a clear and structured way. All rooms are wheelchair-accessible and can be easily located in one of the two wings.
The spacious recreation areas establish homelike focal points, which support easy orientation. Thanks to specially-positioned seating niches, the corridors, which would otherwise just be spaces to move through, become communication zones. Each niche is equipped with two comfortable chairs, a small table and a table lamp, and is protected and contained by a tapered, translucent curtain. This creates an island with an almost intimate feel: the perfect retreat for a private discussion or reading a book, while at the same time remaining in contact with the outside world. Recreation areas are tailored towards residents’ different needs: privacy in the surroundings of your own room, communication and taking an active role in public life from the comfortable arm chairs in the recreation areas, partial seclusion in the corridor seating niches or active participation in the restaurant, therapy areas or on the terrace in the fresh air.
The materials and colours concept is designed to create a homelike, non-institutional atmosphere, and also to stimulate. Walls are painted in light tones in accordance with a differentiated colour scheme, or decorated with wallpaper. The oak furniture forms a gentle contrast and conveys a sense of home, which is complemented by the warm, greyish-brown linoleum floor. Recreation areas are highlighted by means of inlaid carpet islands. No two bedrooms are the same. Keeping with the idea of individualisation, each room has its own palette of colours. Wall colour, accent colour and curtains harmonise to create a new combination and different mood for each room.
Their form and materiality make standard fittings appear familiar and comforting. And generous shelving and storage possibilities create numerous ways of customising each room with personal touches and effects. All this serves to make each room unique. The orientation system picks up on this idea. In place of abstract room numbers, each room bears a proper name: “Castle“, “Palace“ or “Home“ – each name referring to some kind of living situation. The rooms are arranged alphabetically to make it easier to find your way around. A frame is affixed next to the door of each room. This contains the name of the resident and one or two pictures from their past. In this way a relationship between the person and the location is established, creating a bridge connecting inside with outside, yesterday with today.
In addition to the seating islands, the main corridor is characterised by a picture wall that stretches along its entire length. Collective and individual memory fragments from residents’ lives are amassed in more than 170 picture frames: record covers from Beethoven to the Rolling Stones, doilies, silhouettes, poems, old maps, postcards, posters, photographs and even whole books. Their sheer variety and number represents the individuality and uniqueness of residents’ life stories. To view them is to immerse yourself in the memories of others. You naturally associate your own experiences, smile and exchange stories about what you’ve seen. At the same time the collection is constantly changing as residents change. Images come and go and there are always new things to discover – the wall keeps on “moving”. The picture wall underscores the design concept: the dignity, individuality and independence of residents is emphasised and communication is fostered so that the institutional character of the nursing home fades almost completely into the background.