50 years ago a special television-benefit manifestation made it possible to build the care-community ‘Het Dorp’ in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Over the years the village grew into a centre of excellence in the field of home automation, ergonomics and care. Now the village will be completely renewed in the coming years. This project started with the development and construction of a pilot in which state of the art possibilities have been presented. The opening of this event has been done by Phillip Pozzo di Borgo (known from the movie Intouchable).
This pilot, commissioned by Siza is designed by Archipelontwerpers. The goal was to create a humane living environment for people with a handicap. It contains two housing units and starts from a different perspective than what we are used to: instead of the residents adapt to their home, Archipelontwerpers perspective is to make the home adapt to the residents. General solutions do not apply, the installation and design of the house should be adjustable. Spatially, the houses are organized so that the (wheelchair) resident only has to move in one straight line to reach all main functions: entrance, kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom. This linear structure is spatially differentiated by enfolding around a patio.
A special interface has been developed which allows to control the electric equipment such as; a wheelchair, e-reader, internet, telephone and Skype. This so-called iServe can be operated by anyone. By making use of a ‘self-scanning’ button all applications within it’s reach can be connected to the controller. Even when there is insufficient or no hand and finger function at all.