The concept for the residential care home Donaustadt is based on an extensive program of the City of Vienna to react timely and functionally to current demographic conditions by establishing adequate public healthcare institutions. Not a medical institution in the conventional sense
is provided in the northern side of the city, but housing for users who due to their age or illness are facing special spatial requirements.
The guiding idea for the extension of the residential
care home Donaustadt encloses a reorganisation of urbanistic conditions, which increases the use and quality of the surrounding public spaces. The solid and clear outer aspect finds its continuation in the interior of the building through the constant application of characteristic materials.
Manifold situations with a certain urban quality are provided for in the interior of the building. These public spaces enable the inhabitants of the house to participate actively or passively in the community life. In combination with the specific furnishings, the use of these spaces can be individually adapted, the inhabitants have the choice, whether and in which form
they want to engage with the other residents.
Circumferential loggias offer a direct contact with the outside world.
The two inner courtyards with mobile art installations bring forth an additional visual stimulus. The layering of partly mobile wood, glass and textile elements forming surrounding loggia
ranges at the façades was established in favour of a highly cost optimised energy balance.
The individual use of these spaces leads to a visible change of the façade and imparts a lively aspect to the shaped form. Variable free spaces consisting of terraces, different garden zones with outdoor furnishing and paths, follow the architectural concept of engaging the users. An easily accessible central service centre was created with consideration of the surrounding public circulation.
With this approach to designing hospitals, this project demonstrates a positive link between the privacy of the everyday living within a geriatric centre and the surrounding city life outside..