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Maria ter Ruste nursing home

Location Zwevezele, Belgium
Timeline 2013 - 2018

design and realisation of a new senior home


This new residential care centre replaces an outdated nursing home. A transparent plinth with public functions interconnects the new nursing home with the surrounding residential area and school. The residential wings behind the plinth enclose a patio that introduces plenty of daylight into the rooms and living spaces. The new home slightly recedes from the street and is surrounded with a green border, providing space for soft mobility axes.

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  • Residential Care Group GVO
  • VK
90 beds
7570 m²


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

Senior zwevezele mariaterruste 5 web

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.

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