Nicolas Van Eyll

Nicolas Van Eyll

HOUSE FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE. ULg Liège (Belgium)

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The little village community of Ovifat has an important need for several new facilities. This project aims at giving a response to the request of seniors who wish to stay in their native place, but who cannot continue living in their unadapted home much longer.

In order to avoid the creation of a kind of sanctuary that is accessible only to seniors, a strong link had to be established with the younger generations. To realize this specific objective, the primary school in the centre of the village was chosen to become the front door of the project.

Inside the project, a refectory is accessible to younger and older people, but it can also be transformed into a study room with homework help. In the evening, the same place can be turned into a projection room.

The residence consists of three different units: the main house, a detached house and several pools in the basement. This composition creates a type of enclosed garden that provides a certain private atmosphere of the outdoor space.

A rubble stone siding and reused slate refer directly to the houses built in the area with the use of local materials. The siding has a unique relationship with the shuttered concrete, keeping the idea of mineral mass. The « little house » is distinguished by its strict residential use and refers to the existing typologies of the old houses in the village. In the village, private space, separated by hedges, is often a synonym for being « at home ». The idea that a shared space is not necessarily a constraint to the community is reflected in the establishment of collective and private spaces with diverse characters meeting very different profiles. This is a place of peace, open to nature and to its environment.

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