Zoetermeer Vivaldi Care Home, Zoetermeer, Netherlands, by HOSPER. Nowhere could be more pleasant and re-energizing than a residential complex that reminds us of an island. That is the type of landscape in the place where the Zoetermeer Vivaldi Care Home is located in the Netherlands. The home provides a safe environment for its residents away from the stressful routines of the city. While this stress-free environment is healthy, the isolation may prevent residents from enjoying the benefits of keeping connected with the neighborhood. When asked to create the outdoor spaces for this care home, HOSPER designers envisioned an environment that balances isolation and connectedness, aiming to merge them with the surroundings while preserving the residents’ privacy. To achieve this result, they took full advantage of the waterscape to amplify the space and create an outdoor area that melts into the natural elements.
Zoetermeer Vivaldi Care Home
The Design Concept Besides meeting the residents’ special needs, the design also addressed its ecological role and harmonized with the building’s architecture. As a result, the outdoor area features different gardens that connect the spaces around the building through diverse paths, adjusted to meet the needs of residents who have disabilities. Next to the residential sector, green shelters and open areas offer both shaded and sunny spaces.The entrance and the backyard gardens are the key components that consolidate the design: The first eases social meetings and the second uses a planting scheme that accomplishes its ecological function in addition to providing inspiring views of the landscape. See more articles featuring HOSPER:
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An Entrance Space That Welcomes Visitors A ribbon of grass and trees forms a green space in the front of the building, welcoming visitors to the facility. They are greeted by a square equipped with seating furniture and a bike parking structure. This outdoor room connects with an open space featuring a restaurant and patio that motivate social gatherings.The Purpose of the Pond A red rectilinear pond establishes an axis in the outdoor space and works as a summary of the elements that form the rest of the outdoor area. The red color adds vibrancy to the peaceful environment, showing the balance between calmness and aliveness. The pond symbolically links this garden to the water stream around the building and reminds us, through the fish and water plants, of the purpose of connecting people with nature. The building facades and the sky are also brought to this converging pond, establishing the focal point of the outdoor space. A Surprising Backyard Garden The building, designed by Seed Architects, is shaped by two sets of parallel blocks connected by a central axis. The landscape designers incorporated this corridor’s integrating function to the outdoor project to conduct people to the water garden. Enabling all Levels of Ability As its name shows, this area was inspired by the surrounding waterscape and was designed in a way that makes it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy the experience with the water. To make the water’s boundaries accessible to the people with reduced mobility, they designed ramps and a boardwalk, composing very pleasant pathways within the verdant area. The planting, developed by the garden designer Jacqueline van der Kloet, resulted in a near natural environment, with trees and flower beds on the higher level of the garden and swamp vegetation around the water. The balance between tranquility and vitality once again inspires the environment where a fountain contributes to a relaxing and energizing atmosphere. How Do the Gardens Adjust to Residents’ Activities? The necessity of providing healthy activities for the residents defined the theme of the garden that is connected to the central corridor and daycare area. It was planned to be a green area where the residents can have direct contact with nature by picking flowers and harvesting vegetables. These activities are possible also for those in wheelchairs because part of the plant beds was constructed on a higher level. And to complement the rehabilitation therapy or to inspire people to exercise outdoors, a garden with fitness equipment was created in the patio close to the physical therapy room. The area also features different types of paving that enable people with walking aids to exercise safely. The Design Redefined the “Isle Concept.” HOSPER showed with Vivaldi Care Home’s outdoor design that healthcare residences can have safe, private gardens that are in harmony with their surroundings. The use of the building’s axes to connect the different gardens, the gentle adjustment of the spaces to the residents’ special needs, and the adequate choice of plants enhances the natural landscape. The result is a set of gardens whose elements give them unity and form a peaceful but vivid outdoor area that blends with the surroundings. Recommended Reading:
- Urban Design by Alex Krieger
- The Urban Design Handbook: Techniques and Working Methods (Second Edition) by Urban Design Associates
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