Interior Environmental Design

Zaklina Zwierko

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Home Care Home is the proposal for a care home for the future ageing generation. Situated in the grounds of a former Royal Infirmary on the north bank of the River South Esk, where it meets the Montrose Coastal Basin. The care home is divided into two floors; the ground level serves as an open community hub for residents, family members, daycare occupants and the public to enjoy every aspect of the space. It is intended to be transformed into a market hall, exhibition space or a performance auditorium, inspired by the everchanging rockpool environment and the concept of tidal waves, which routinely change their surroundings with every tide. The waves are people who come into the home constantly bringing fresh and exciting social opportunities for residents who dwell within. The structure of the care home means residents still keep a form of autonomy over their daily schedule, preserving interests and hobbies in old age, and providing a sense of belonging. The first floor serves the purpose of a residential care home with a mixture of private, semi-private and public spaces for the diversity of residents who occupy the space, allowing them to keep their sense of identity. ‘Harbour’ is a gathering spot where residents can look down onto the ‘rockpool’, admiring the waves of people occupying the space. ‘The Pier’, is an outdoor terrace where residents can stay connected with nature while taking in beautiful views of the Montrose Coastal Basin.

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The UK population is getting older. The need for well-thought-out dwellings for current and future generations is important, not only for our well-being but also for the physical and psychological benefits design can bring to the ageing process. The recent estimates by Storey (2018) suggest that there are 12 million people aged 65 and above living in the UK and by the year 2041 the 1960’s baby boomers, currently in their 50’s-70’s will move into the older age bracket. Not only this but statistics show that by 2066 there will be an additional 8.6 million UK residents aged 65 and over; in context, this number is equivalent to the size of the present London population. Historically, multigenerational families cared for their elders, however, due to the economic growth and endless possibilities for a younger generation to travel, the need for better design solutions for the elderly is an important task for designers. These statistics were therefore greatly considered and massively influenced the work in this project, with the mental well-being of the residents and practicality being at the forefront of every decision.

In my final project, I am proposing to reimagine the care home environment. After having first-hand experience working in the social sector I think it’s vital for our elders to feel comfortable and valued in old age. Such spaces should focus on residents and the vast diversity of people who dwell within. The home should provide its inhabitants with a sense of belonging while embracing their identities, offering control and autonomy over their personal spaces and a variety of different social spaces to accommodate the varied personalities. By opening the doors to neighbouring communities, this will help to improve the overall mental wellbeing of the residents by bridging gaps between generations and encouraging social interactions.

For any more information about this project please feel free to visit my website.


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