Etablissement d’Hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes, French Care Home Building
EHPAD : Care Homes in France
French Care Home – design by Tectoniques Architectes, Lyon
25 Oct 2011
EHPAD in Grenoble + Mervans
Living in a care home, two matching projects
EHPAD (Etablissement d’Hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes, i.e. a residence for the elderly dependent), in Grenoble and Mervans, by Tectoniques Architects.
Tectoniques is strongly attached to the role of architecture in the humanisation of care homes.
As concerns facilities for elderly people, we focus on habitability and quality of life. By definition, there is a problem of repetitiveness and monotony in such establishments. Our emphasis is therefore on differentiation, a qualitative approach to intermediate contexts, ergonomics and climatics. A new generation of specialist care homes must adapt to longer periods of occupancy and a more residential type of utilisation. A facility for the elderly is no longer simply a care unit or a “parking zone”. It is a home in its own right, and also a place for people to receive visits from family and friends, who are given such a mediocre reception in many current facilities.
The two projects presented here illustrate this ethos. They respond simultaneously to three criteria: the residents’ quality of life and wellbeing, the optimisation of day-to-day functioning, for both users and staff, technical and economic rationality.
Physical wellbeing subtends psychological wellbeing by providing a diversity of ambiances and spaces articulated round a dialogue between privacy and sociability. This results in architectural choices based on the character of the site, including gardens and patios. There are multiple vistas, both inner and outer, that enrich the residents’ sensorial stimuli, and in turn increase the degree of appropriation, particularly in the private sphere. As regards “decoration”, the collective spaces are not homogenised or standardised. There are lively, contrasting colours and a variety of materials, with a bias in favour of wood and its derivatives.
The architects wanted to get away from the traditional idea of hospital-type accommodation, notably by optimising the relationship between architecture and landscape, and, in general, receptiveness to the outside world. They see gardens as spaces for mediation and cohabitation between buildings and their surroundings. And this is a central feature of both the Grenoble and Mervans projects. Though enclosed, they are visually open. They are friendly and sociable for the users, with fountains, vegetable gardens and meandering walkways, either covered or exposed.
Particular attention is given to hygro-thermic comfort during hot weather. Systematic air conditioning is avoided in favour of ground-coupled heat pumps, active solar protection, nocturnal ventilation, extra insulation for the facades, and planted-out roofs. Acoustics is also a sensitive point, given that many of the residents have hearing problems. Each aspect of utilisation is treated individually.
The two programmes are quite similar in size and specifications.
The contexts of the projects are somewhat different.
The one in Grenoble is an EHPAD (Etablissement d’Hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes, i.e. a residence for the elderly dependent), which marks the culmination of a major municipal development covering 22 hectares in the south of the city.
The second project is that of Mervans, in the Burgundy region. It is located in a residential area in the midst of a flourishing natural setting, with traditional architecture characterised by simple forms and broad roofs.
Specialising in dry construction techniques, Tectoniques has for long been interested in the principles associated with timber frame buildings. The firm is active in numerous sectors of architecture, including public buildings, housing and leisure facilities, with a strong commitment to environmental standards. Tectoniques applies construction protocols that are at once simple, clean and progressive.
EHPAD de la ZAC Vigny-Musset à Grenoble – Building Information
Area: 3,699 sqm
EHPAD à Mervans – Building Information
Area: 4,850 sqm
Photographs : © Renaud Araud and © Agence Tectoniques
Translator : John Doherty
EHPAD de la ZAC Vigny-Musset à Grenoble + EHPAD à Mervans images / information from Tectoniques Architectes
To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.
French Architecture – Buildings close by:
Lons le Saunier Building
Du Besset-Lyon Architectes
image from architect
image from architect
Dijon Mustard laboratory
image © MVRDV
French Architecture – Selection
ZAC Beauvert, Grenoble, south east France
AKTIS Architecture et Urbanisme
picture © theNood
The Orange Cube Lyon
Jakob + Macfarlane
photo : Nicolas Borel
Parc des Expositions Toulouse
image © OMA
Comments / photos for the French Care Homes page welcome:
EHPAD Care Homes Building