Publicly Accessible Buildings

Light as a feather...

'The Nest' daycare centre for handicapped adults in Alphen a/d Rijn steeped in daylight

by Sian 03 October 2013
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    Möhn + Bouman has completed a new daycare centre in Alphen a/d Rijn, providing care for a large group of both physically and mentally challenged adults. The key theme during the design process was the idea of a ‘nest’. 

    The main shape of the building is formed two volumes overlapping each other, resulting in a large, roof-lit main hall at the core of the building. All main spaces are organised around this hall which doubles as a space for collective activities. Due to its shape, defined by the sculptural ceiling and light, this space creates a warm and sheltered feeling.

    At the same time the hall serves as an entranceway. With its longitudal shape pointed at the street it invites people to come in and establishes a strong visual connection with the outer world which is emphasised by extending the exterior material towards the interior.

    The building is situated in a suburban area with two-storey dwellings but at the same time remains sheltered by large trees and ponds. This is reflected in the slate that has been chosen for the facades. The stone speaks to the built environment but with warm colours, embedding the building in its natural environment.

    The daycare centre is conceived and detailed as a stone monolith. Its facades are carefully orientated towards the environment and the sun, resulting in a strong volume with tilted facades, playing with light and shadow.

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