When you think of retirement or care homes, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing.
One architect was determined to change all of this, when she was hired to design a building for a pair of ladies in their 60’s.
The ladies approached architect, Issei Suma, wanting to create a beautiful home and business for both themselves and the elderly people they care for.
The small Japanese community was lacking proper amenities, or a caring environment for the elderly to be taken care of, so Suma set about creating a design that would pay homage to the beautiful surroundings of Japan’s mountainous Shizuoka Prefecture and allow the women to live and operate a business out of the same lodging.
The building, located on a rural site, is made up of five different rooms, or lodgings, each shaped like beautiful sculpted teepees.
Externally, the building blends in with its natural surroundings, whilst internally, the huge ceilings fall atop concrete and timber beams, offering a light and somewhat airy atmosphere.
Each section serves a different function. The largest – a kitchen, where delivery meals are prepared. The kitchen also includes a small dining area for in-house guests to enjoy their meals.
Clients then occupy the two blocks to the west, which includes a shared bedroom, a bathroom and a storage area.
Another block accommodates two more beds.
The lodging also includes a therapy pool, designed to allow easy access to wheelchair-bound patients.
Considering more and more research is pointing to the benefits of green spaces for all ages, this concept could soon make its way into the mainstream, offering a new and beneficial way for the elderly to live – and thrive.