ERA21 #02/2021 The Architecture of Care

kniha editorial

The Architecture of Care

Hana Lesáková

» entire article

kniha comment

Znojmo chce parkovací dům aneb o tom, jak si pod sebou jako architekti někdy dobrovolně řežeme větev

Jan Hora

» entire article
kniha completed project

City Succession. Student House in Prague-Holešovice »

Pavel Hnilička, Marek Řehoř / Pavel Hnilička Architects+Planners

Professing its affinity with city block urbanism, the student housing project in Prague Holešovice closely follows the building line while adding generous new public ground-floor spaces facing the tree-lined sidewalk. This was how a typical sort of development in Old Holešovice once looked. But it’s barely noticeable now, with only a few scattered buildings from the turn of the 20th century left. Grandiose socialist transport infrastructure projects severely damaged the urban character. The ambition behind the new student housing was to revive the long lost atmosphere, strengthen the street network, and thus make one of the first steps towards a vibrant future city neighborhood.

» entire article

This Is Where We Care »

Tomáš Hejzlar

From almshouses to nursing homes and care homes—the language we use to describe assisted living facilities for the elderly is changing. Similarly, new expectations are emerging regarding architectural expression, programs and use. Could this indicate a deeper, underlying shift of societal values and general attitude to age and ageing? The numbers don’t lie: senior citizens aged over 65 represented 10% of the population in the 90s, the figure doubled by 2020 and it’s expected to reach 30% by 2050. When the 65-and-older age group constitutes a third of the nation, will specialized design solutions finally be considered worthy assignments? It’s impossible to imagine a future scenario where a commission for a new care home gets snubbed by all the established architects. On the contrary; for premium-paid, senior center public commissions, everyone will line up. And older existing buildings? They will be appreciated, carefully maintained, and written about in the papers.


Age-Friendly City Living »

Lucie Vidovićová

Together with climate change and digitalization, ageing is considered one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Despite being one of humanity's greatest achievements, too. Thanks to advanced medicine, better lifestyles and decreased environmental risks we simply don’t die as prematurely as before. The resulting phenomenon has two parts: first, changes in individual human biology are happening over time, second, these changes—let’s agree, essentially positive—are happening to a lot of people, everywhere and at the same time. What sort of consequences can we expect in 30 years' time, when the senior population will become the most prominent age group in the Czech Republic? We don’t know. But we would do well to get ready for this “grey” future, maybe using present-day seniors as a template for our own old age.

completed project

Elderly Care. Senior Boarding Home in Opava »

Juraj Sonlajtner, Václav Alda, Peter Jurášek, Jakub Obůrka / City Work Architects

Located on the boundary between two pre-existing development areas, a new senior center, renting small flats in Opava, confronts the scale difference of single-family homes and housing estates. Winner of a 2012 architectural competition, the volume of the building works well with the adjacent apartment building and complements the rest of the estate. It also implies the possible future development of the entire city block. All the flats are oriented towards a southeast facing semi-private area created between the center and the existing houses. This inner garden serves as a sheltered outdoor space for all 52 flats on all 5 floors of the center.

completed project

A Verdant View. Extension of Senior Citizen Center in Pacov »

Martin Šafránek, Zdeněk Rychtařík, Jiří Smolík, Pavel Marek / VYŠEHRAD atelier

A senior citizen center in Pacov was originally made up of two sections, an assisted living facility and a more traditional nursing home. It has now been further extended with a special Alzheimer's disease care unit. Towards the north, the new building faces the street with a translucent glass facade, towards southwest, it turns 90 degrees and forms a sheltered garden. The architecture uses a repeating series of rectangular shapes and planes, adding a hint of playfulness in the angles of corridors and loggias. On each floor, double-bed rooms with bathrooms are complemented by a canteen, a common room and a work therapy room.

completed project

At Home. Carpe Diem Dementia Village in Bærum »

Nordic Office of Architecture

Last year, a new type of housing for people with dementia opened near Oslo, Norway. The “village” is made up of several low-rise residences standing around a common semi-private space, led by a main building with an entrance lobby, administration offices, and a host of healthcare and other amenities included. The small-scale pitched roof buildings, the playful landscaping, and the natural materials all help to create a cosy and pleasant atmosphere. The village aims to offer a friendlier alternative to the still prevalent institutional type of care. Living here is very similar to living at home, but with a higher level of comfort, safety and care.

completed project

Boundary. Day Care Center for People with Alzheimer’s Disease in Benavente »

Rubén García Rubio, Sonsoles Vela Navarro / studioVRA

The light from windows framed by concrete walls spills down a grassy slope at the boundary between village and countryside. That’s our first impression of the new Centre of the Association of Families of Patients with Alzheimer's Disease (Asociación de Familiares y Enfermos de Alzheimer). In response to the rising numbers of Alzheimer patients in the ageing population of rural Spain, the Association offers counseling and help to families and organizes physical exercise classes and therapy sessions. However, it has been a long journey since the 2009 competition for the new Centre. Not quite finished yet, all the landscaping and planting of the roof garden are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Treatment According to H&deM »

Irena Hradecká, Filip Landa

When looking at architecture of healthcare facilities designed by the Swiss studio Herzog & de Meuron, the move to humanize architecture is quite apparent. Since opening their private REHAB Basel center in 2002, the duo of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been broadening their professional experience in designing healthcare facilities. Let's have a look at some of their current or recently finished projects in Europe and beyond.

completed project

Spare Parts. Garage and Automotive Parts Shop Converted Into Prosthetics Centre in Staré Město »

Martin Frei, Martin Rusina / Rusina Frei architekti

A private prosthetics clinic opened in a traditional Moravian village house, formerly an auto shop, in Staré Město. For the most part, small, pitched-roofed, side-gabled houses, with one or two windows facing the street and a gate accessing the courtyard, can be found in the immediate vicinity. The building of the clinic fills its plot completely—it was originally split from a bigger one. There are private access ways on both sides of the building now, breaking the continuous rows of houses. A neighboring building comes right to the southeast edge of the site. The form of the adapted building maintains the traditional look and the typical L-shaped footprint. The street‑facing part stays the same, with only a new reinforced concrete slab and timber truss roof installed. The back part of the house now encircles a small inner courtyard bringing enough sunlight into all the rooms.

completed project

Something Good For Themselves. Therapeutic Community SANANIM in Heřmaň »

Aleš Kubalík, Josef Kocián, Jakub Našinec, Veronika Sávová / Sporadical

An old farmstead was adapted for the purposes of a therapeutic community treating drug addicts in Heřmaň, South Bohemia. Year-long stays are offered for up to twenty clients. The community moved here from a building they rented in Němčice, near Volyně. The Karásek farm, already remodeled and extended several times before and once flooded in 2014, has now been renovated for this very specific use of the community. A spacious common room, dining room, consulting room and club room are all important for day-to-day use as well as certain ceremonies. Basic accommodation for clients and staff is also provided.

completed project

Care of People and Monuments. Clergy House Transformed Into Accommodations for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder »

Luboš Zemen, Eva Zemenová, Vojtěch Navrátil / 4DS

Chvalšiny is a village located between the Kleť Mountain and the Boletice Military Training Area. It only has about 1300 inhabitants, due to most of its original population being expelled in 1945. An old clergy house belonging to the local Roman Catholic Church was purchased by a private foundation, Adelaida, and converted into accommodations for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Adapting the building made it possible to provide a dedicated facility for week-long or weekend stays, but also to save a valuable historic monument. The clergy house is built on the footprint of two older townhouses in the center of the village, close to the church. There are two facades, one facing the village square, and another northern one, exposed in the 1960s after the demolition of an adjacent building. The cellars and the ground floor are medieval in origin, the rest is largely Baroque with some Neoclassical alterations, the newest parts come from the 19th century and the 1930s.


Architecture of Hospice Care »

Jan Bouček

After 1989, the hospice care system went through a similar kind of development in Czechia and neighboring countries alike. First formalizing the healthcare agenda regarding patients with incurable diseases, it then moved on to promote integration of palliative care facilities in the general healthcare system. This was soon followed by changes in the typology of residential hospice architecture.

kniha interview

A House Where Everything Is Possible. Radka Vernerová, Tomáš Págo and Milan Joja Interviewed by Filip Landa »

One of the most tragic things that can happen to a parent is losing their beloved child. It’s never easy to talk about the death of a child. Help and support for families where the children suffer a serious illness is insufficient in Czechia. The proposed children’s hospice House for Julie in Brno is hoping to change that. We spoke with the hospice director Radka Vernerová and the project architects studio Čtyřstěn.

» entire article

There Is Another Way. The International Cancer Caring Centre Network and Its Origin Story »

Hana Lesáková

Visitors to Maggie’s centre in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital usually ask: “Who’s the house named after? Who was Maggie?” Sometimes they say they can feel her presence, like she was still there. It's a shame we don’t tell the stories of buildings more often. Good architecture is always a product of the lived experience of its creators, a fruit growing on exciting mycelium of fortunes and fates. Maggie was an architect, a cancer patient, a visionary. Her idea grew and flourished to become an international network of caring centres, operating 27 buildings in 4 countries around the world.


A Robot Doing Shopping? »

Starship Technologies

Rather unsurprisingly, self-driving robot delivery businesses registered a surge in demand in 2020. Starship Technologies, a start-up from Estonia, has already launched commercial services in its hometown of Tallinn, and in the UK, Germany, and Denmark. It also has a growing presence in the US. When the pandemic hit, the demand for these services went from being a high-tech convenience to an everyday necessity for social-distancing or quarantined customers. Still, some regulatory obstacles and some issues with the robots’ movement need to be resolved before large-scale implementation. Not by coincidence, the best results that were achieved were done so in carefully planned suburban locations or college campuses, with well-kept pedestrian infrastructures, easily accessible residences, which are devoid of high-speed traffic.



EU Renovation Wave

Štěpánka Lubinová


Doors and Fittings: Purpose, Function, Specifics

Jan Stavinoha


On the Effect of Windows on Available Daylight

Lenka Maierová, Petra Tvrdá / UCEEB ČVUT

completed project

Healing Order. Ayurvedic Medicine Pavilion in Resort Svatá Kateřina near Počátky »

Jakub Tejkl / Architektura 1

The basic idea for the architectural expression of the ayurvedic pavilion was the philosophical belief that the source of calm—internal and external—is found in order, which forms natural and clear boundaries in otherwise chaotic and boundless space. First, a grid was laid out. 105 granite stones of different heights were erected in the intersections of the grid, so that all the tops would reach the same elevation. On this new plane a wooden pavilion was built. The order of the building, where every span of the structure can be considered a center, is created by the archaic composition of cross-shaped columns and beams. There are two main spaces: an open atrium with massage therapy rooms all around it, and a swimming pool with water from the Svatá Kateřina springs. A gallery runs along the perimeter of the pavilion, offering views to the surrounding landscape. Three sides of the pavilion engage with three types of scenery—open countryside, a close proximity forest, and enclosed meditation garden.

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

Phone: +420 530 500 801
Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
Copyright ©2004-2024 ERA Média, s.r.o
Použití článků a fotografií nebo jejich částí je bez souhlasu vydavatele zakázáno.

Information about cookies on this page

To get an idea of what you like to read, we use cookies on the website, which we process in accordance with the privacy policy. If you want to let us know what you are interested in, please give your consent to the processing of all types of cookies.


Cookie settings

The cookies that are used on this site are divided into categories and below you can find out more about each category and allow or deny some or all of them. Once you disable categories that were previously enabled, all cookies associated with that category will be deleted from your browser.