Nursing homes and other social services are often interpreted according to the same pattern: countless rooms linked together by long corridors. This type of scheme is a victory for the functionality of these buildings, but a defeat for the domesticity of it. In care center Mayerhof, the limits of this rational scheme are questioned, while space is created in which a community can grow. Various additions of communal and open areas add to the domesticity of the place.
By positioning the nursing home in a figure eight on the site, an infinite circulation arises, connecting all the rooms on every floor. In this functional diagram, places of social interaction are inserted. The linear corridor folds around two large voids, creating various perspectives and a sense of overview in the building. As the program toward the upper floors is diminishing, terraces arise on every floor with an optimal orientation and protection from the wind. Each room receives either a view toward these open spaces in the heart of the nursing home or to the green area around the building. The result is a very light volume that is bathed in natural light and space.
Besides nursing, three separate volumes provide assisted living, as stately sentinels overlooking the existing nursing home. Large openings with terraces are located in a residential area between the nursing home and the surrounding housing. All properties contain two or three facades, allowing natural light to enter the living spaces, together with a widened corridor that houses the common functions.
The new buildings are implanted into the free space on the site around the existing nursing home, which remained in use during the construction. The joint residential area and the underground passage bind the different functions together. Otherwise, they act as autonomous parts, but live as integrated components of a unique residential care setting with a focus on lifelong living and care.
The choice of three entrances to the site, the construction of streets and indoor spaces, and buildings that vary in size and appearance, makes this new environment reminiscent of an urban fabric and is very different than the monotonous environments where such programs are usually housed. The nursing home is built in a reflective aluminum cladding used as a canvas for the sunlight. The assisted living residences have a stately masonry finish with exposed concrete ring beams.
Mayerhof Care Campus acts as a small town where functionality and domesticity merge into a fresh environment; where social interaction, security, and integration of people with different needs are at the center. It is a community bound together by a rational structure and a place to grow old with dignity.