A sensory experience

Möhn + Bouman creates a safe haven for mentally handicapped client in Nieuwkoop

by Sian 03 October 2013
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    Dutch firm Möhn + Bouman has completed a carefully-crafted private residence for a severely mentally handicapped gentleman in Nieuwkoop in an ongoing analysis of newly adapted environments.

    Instead of the oft-adopted design of basic amenities and sparse interior design found in residences created for mentally handicapped clients, Möhn + Bouman have selected a richer palette of colours and more stimulating décor for a homely feel that remains safe and tailored to the resident’s needs.

    The team says of their design approach: “Mr. W is severely mentally handicapped but without physical constraints, and often poses a danger for himself and his environment. For security reasons, such people mostly live in harsh, prison-cell like conditions.

    "This housing unit is a test case to address this issue in another way. By greatly exploring new techniques and materials we were able to create an apartment that is molest-free and friendly at the same time [sic].”

    A serene countryside image taken by photographer Martin Kers has been enlarged and projected onto an interior wall. This action was taken to address the client’s faint memories of his childhood growing up in rural location with the intention to instil a relaxing, positive energy. Furniture within the residence has been designed using CNC-techniques, moulding the forms to the client’s body.

    The client enjoys spending large amounts of time outdoors so Möhn + Bouman have created a fluid space which blends interior and exterior areas. A continuous polyurethane floor runs throughout the property with heated spots for a sensory experience and to encourage year-round use of the complete facilities. 

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