Vienna-based practice steals first place in competition for care home for the elderly
ATP Architects and Engineers (Vienna) has won the invited competition for the renovation, expansion and new construction of the ‘Innovative Residential and Care Home IWP Liebhartstal II’ in Vienna, their design concept composed to make a statement on behalf of a self-determined quality of life and dignity in old age. Rather than merely seeking to look after old people, the concept behind the project for the expansion of this 252 bed complex from 12,260 sq m to 25,660 sq m is that they should be able to lead active lives as far as they are either able or interested.
This concept pays special attention to the notion of sensory perception and of related activities. Colours guide and orient while materials stimulate and the concepts for natural and artificial lighting as well as the rich use of greenery in the courtyards and in the ‘garden of the senses’ seek to promote the well-being and satisfaction of the residents.
The complex is located at the meeting point between Vienna’s urban grain and the less dense development on the slopes of the Wilhelminenberg. The site enjoys views of the hilly landscape to the northwest of the city as well as of the suburbs to the south. The site wraps around the Grünspan Restaurant and borders on neat parkland to the northwest. The preliminary land-use plan determined that the building complex has a Z-form with a functional head formed by the entrance area which also serves the existing building.
The new L-shaped building is to be seen as a continuation of the existing care home and has a very clear volumetric structure. It defines itself in relationship with the existing building by its restrained formal language. The design of the façades placed special emphasis on allowing the residents to demonstrate their individuality to the outside world, in that each apartment has a panorama window to the outside.
The openings are holes punched in a wall which is primarily treated as a fully insulated façade. The parapet of just 45cm makes it possible to enjoy the view out onto the nature from a sitting position. The timber slat cladding adjacent to the windows adds an additional element to the overall ensemble as well as increasing the building’s residential character which is also more in keeping with the parkland setting. The careful orientation of the building ensures that the living and sleeping areas are oriented towards the calm green spaces.