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Maria Ter Ruste nursing home

Zwevezele
Mission design and realisation of a new senior home
Client Residential Care Group GVO
Architect VK
Dates 2013 - 2018
Numbers 90 beds
Surface 7570 m2

The senior care group Gastvrij Omgeven (Hospitable Surrounding) organized an architecture competition for a new nursing home and 14 senior apartments in Zwevezele. VK convinced the jury with its human-scale care vision in a contemporary and homelike layout.

As a principle, VK believes in senior care in the midst of society. The terrain in Zwevezele fits right into this vision, by its location in between a school, a cultural centre and senior houses. VK enhances the interaction with the environment with a cycling and pedestrian track slicing through the terrain.

On the left of the path figures a car park that can be used as a square. The open space can be used for neighbourhood festivities, summer markets, … and as such bring the community towards the senior facility.

On the right of the path, the actual living area with a patio towards the front. The patio ensures a protected outside area, views for the inhabitants and introduces light into the building. In front of the patio, along the street side on the ground floor, are located the public functions in a transparent plinth. The rooms and living spaces are situated behind the patio, surrounded by greenery.

A walkthrough from the public functions right up to the existing serviced flats behind the senior facility cuts the patio in two. At the same time, every floor is also split in two, creating a living group on each side of the walkthrough  –  16 beds per group. Centrally per group there is a kitchen with eating and sitting area. Sitting areas with views are also planned at the end of each circulation axis.

Of course, this project also applies sustainable principles, such as freecooling, day light control, frequency control of circulation pumps, recuperation of remaining heat, …

In this project, VK focuses on a small-scale homelike atmosphere, offering the inhabitants a familiar environment within a larger community.