group work, 2018

The given brief was to redesign the Dementia Day Centre at the St Vincent de Paul Residence to show qualities in dementia-friendly and person-centred design, whilst also taking into consideration the needs and requests of the staff. Planning principles, general attributes, building organisation and specific rooms were the four main pillars that formed the basis of the research that led to the design concept.

The centre is designed to include different types of spaces, catering for patients with different levels of independence and freedom of movement. The looped paths encourage movement and provide a form of escapism and wandering for its users. With the introduction of an interior yard for the maximisation of natural light, it provided space for subdivided ‘niches’ that screen off any unnecessary stimulation, such as spaces for a desk with a computer, or board games and books. Flexible, sealed spaces were also included to allow for small group activities, enabling patients to focus with little distractions. The staff areas are concealed to give the staff an adequate respite space, whilst the office’s location ensures the staff can easily observe their surroundings.

The proposal focused on providing a space which is easy to engage in and does not oblige memory to use: evoking personal memories, encouraging social interaction and including outdoor spaces which mitigate the negative effects of the patients’ condition - which is the core objective behind the design of this space as a whole.

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