The Town by the Lake

Tuesday 01 May 2012

Competition for Danish elderly care home complex won by C. F. Moller Architects

C. F. Møller Architects has won the architectural competition for a new care home and activity centre for the elderly, Fuglsang Lake Centre in Herning, with a project planned like a town, with a main street, activity neighbourhoods and gardens.

The centre will lie on the banks of Fuglsang Lake, in the transition area between town and countryside. This unique location, together with all the common facilities the centre will provide for the area's elderly, including activities, an IT room, workshops, a hairdresser, shop, gym, clinic and library - have inspired the name of the project, the Town by the Lake.

The entire centre, with a total of 112 residences, is oriented towards the lake, in the shape of a comb with its teeth towards the water. The centre is structured like a town, with urban elements such as a main street, neighbourhoods and gardens. Along the main street lie the town's four neighbourhoods, housing the various offers: day centre, physical training, activities, a café and shops. The gardens lie in sheltered areas between the buildings. These offer sensory experiences, including a vegetable garden and chicken-keeping, and conclude with sitting steps at the quayside by the lake.

Above the 'town' - in up to three and four storeys - the individual residences comprise separate, more private areas, broken down into smaller and intimate units in groups of twice eight. The residences are linked to the urban area via centrally-located stairways and elevators grouped around the small plaza areas on the main street.

Via a transparent facade, the landscape is drawn into the urban environment of the ground floor, which, with its many niches, plazas and alternating high and low spaces, provides room for every kind of social interaction from the community as a whole to intimate groups and the possibility of solitary reflection. The distances to everything are short, and there is plenty to see and do.

The possibility of being able to put your personal touch on your home has been given a high priority. There is for example a niche in the transition zone between the common areas and the home, where the occupant can place some personal items. All of the apartments also have their own bay windows, which residents can arrange in their own way. At the same time, the bays also bring dynamics and character to the centre's brightly-plastered facades.

C. F. Møller Architects won the commission for the project in competition with KPF Architects and Arkitec. Work on the project is expected to commence in September and to be completed approximately two years later.

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