Dobbelman residential care complex
This residential care complex forms part of the redevelopment of the Dobbelman terrain in the Bottendaal neighbourhood of Nijmegen. The complex consists of 3 group units for psychogeriatric senior citizens, 20 for older immigrants, 6 for people with mental disabilities and 6 for those with physical disabilities. The building is situated in the middle of a lively neighbourhood, with a population spread of different generations and various cultural, religious and social backgrounds. The robust simple volume of the building with its recessed window frames fits in with the industrial character of the former factory terrain. The two enormous circular columns beneath the cantilevers over the shared inner terrain of the ‘factory street’ have a threefold function – as structure, as envelope for the escape stairs and for bill posting.
The building is arranged spatially in such a way as to encourage contact between the residents. Each of the four storeys of the residential care complex is equipped with a shared garden – public gardens on the ground floor or glass-fronted conservatories upstairs. These large light areas are located centrally, with the individual kitchens grouped around them. With its circular walkway the building has the typology of a cloister, except that it is open on one side to the collective outdoor terrain, the ‘factory street’, thus literally ensuring contact with the outside world.
Small-scale design and diversity
The dwellings in the residential care complex are adjusted to suit the differing groups of occupants: psychogeriatric elderly people, immigrant elderly people and people with disabilities. The group units for the first category fit in with the aim in psychogeriatrics for small-scale design. There are only five occupants per living room and all have their own bedrooms. The units for elderly immigrants have a room that can be separated off for prayer, a kitchen that is large enough for women and men, if desired, to be separate and a central entrance hall with space for visitors’ shoes. With the dwellings for people with disabilities, mental or physical, the basic idea is that they should live as independent a life as possible. They each have their own unit with an extra large bathroom. For special care needs residents can call on the facilities of the care centre on the estate.