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Head in the clouds: Epilepsy Residential Care Home

The occupants and patients of the residential care home near the city of Nancy, France, were to be provided a feeling of protection and safety. Stairs are superfluous in the single-level volume, which has been given a fortress-like floor plan of 60 x 60 metres, making all corners of the building easy to reach in an emergency. Rather like town squares, the inner courtyards break the floor plan and divide it into zones. None of the corridors lead to a dead end, thus enabling the occupants to walk round and meet and converse. The permanent presence of natural light enables an equal zoning and use of space. As a result, the residential areas and treatment rooms form an indivisible amalgam, thus building bridges again and again in a protected but not closed-off way between the differing requirements that the living quarters and treatment rooms have to fulfil.  Wood plays a role as a counterpart to concrete, which seems to be as equally natural a material thanks to its visually striking surface treatment.

This is the result of a contribution by the artist Mayanna von Ledebur. Involved in the project from an early design stage on, her main task was to create a façade of deep significance, one that also does not stigmatize. Starting out with inscriptions on a Mesopotamian stele dating back to 1728 B.C. – the first reference made to epilepsy in written form – she developed an unusual concept, one that conveys in a restrained and slightly abstract way the idea and appearance of the inscriptions carved in the ancient block of diorite rock. The concrete facades have thus been provided a surface treatment that makes them soft and tactile in effect despite their hardness.

Contrasts between materials express themselves again and again in the deliberate interplay of the aloof "fortress" walls and the inner courtyards with their homely and sensitive design.  A wall hanging 100 square metres in size and cut into panels not only enlivens the corridors by introducing colour and structure but also presents an accomplished tactile contrast to the façades. To foster orientation as well as identification with the care home, the wall hanging interprets a photograph of a cloud taken 6,000 metres above the facility, and is to help the occupants to find their way, preferably with their "heads in the clouds".

Kurze Werbepause

more Information:

Site area: 3200 m²
Costs:
 5,2 Mio € 
Collaboration: Artist Mayanna von Ledebur

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