Nursing Home 2023

Special Nursing Home in the city 01
Shirahige Special Nursing Home for the Elderly

At Shirahige Special Nursing Home, owing to environmental factors such as the scarcity of large plots of land, high population density, and limited natural surroundings in urban areas, procuring ample views and natural light is a challenge. We aimed to create a high-quality living space through space design that can furnish a healthy and open living environment. We hope that our facility will serve as a benchmark for future urban senior living facilities.

The “Shirahige Special Nursing Home” is a planned urban eldercare facility, located in the Higashimukojima district of Tokyo.
In Japan, the number of individuals aged 65 and over is projected to continue rising, with a projected peak in 2042. (The population of those 65 and older is 36.26 million, accounting for 39.4% of the total population, while those 75 and older is 24.01 million, or 26.1% of the total population. It is expected that this demographic will comprise 25% of the population by 2055.)
The amount of individuals 75 years and older, referred to as highly dependent elderly, is projected to see a substantial increase in major metropolitan areas such as Tokyo. As a result, the demand for eldercare facilities in urban regions is apparent and will continue to grow.
This initiative aims to investigate methods for creating high-quality living spaces in urban environments, where obtaining large plots of land is challenging, buildings are closely situated, and the surrounding natural environment is constrained by factors such as poor views and limited sunlight.

The site has an elongated shape that stretches from the northern side, which is wide and adjacent to the road, to the southeast side, which is densely populated with buildings. This has resulted in an elongated building design with two distinct units in the northwest and southeast.
The first floor comprises a short-term stay unit with 11 rooms on the northeastern side, an entrance hall and community space for emergency response in the center, and staff facilities such as a kitchen, offices, and changing rooms on the southeastern side. The second floor is a traditional open-plan, multi-bed unit with 30 rooms, while the third to fifth floors are split into two 12-room units, one in the northwest and one in the southeast, with a semi-public area in the center.
Aside from the northern side adjacent to the road, the building is surrounded by other structures which may impede views and sunlight on the first three floors. To address this, the second floor is designed as a continuous open space without partitions, creating a sense of horizontal openness, and a skylight is included in the center to connect the first floor and alleviate the sensation of confinement due to the limited openings on the southern side. Additionally, the traditional multi-bed unit on the second floor is designed to be easily converted into individual rooms in the future.

Interior Design
The four design elements, "color", "light", "texture", and "vitality", are incorporated into the plan to mitigate the limitations of planning for specialized care in urban areas.

・Bringing Color to Life: Design that Evokes a Sense of Connection and Attachment
We designed the interiors by painting the furniture in each room in a fandom fashion and incorporating color into the common living areas, so that residents can recognize their own rooms as their own homes and develop a sense of attachment.

・Designing for Natural Light: Enhancing the Lighting Experience through Innovative Flooring
Given that the building is surrounded by other structures, natural light may be limited in certain areas and times. This is why we designed the flooring with a variety of materials that gradually lighten as one approaches the windows, which will enhance the perception of natural light entering the space.

・Connecting to the Outdoors: Designing with Lines that Bridge the Indoor-Outdoor Divide
Even in an environment surrounded by buildings and with limited views, we incorporated signs on the floor indicating the direction of iconic landmarks, such as the Skytree, Mount Fuji, Asakusa Temple, and Kusatsu Onsen, so that residents can feel a sense of connection to the outside world, fostering familiarity and memories.

・Creating a Vibrant Atmosphere: Illuminating Spaces with Lively Lighting
To convey the sense of enjoyment of living with other residents and care staff in the unit, we created a lively atmosphere by rhythmically installing small ceiling lights in spaces which are anticipated to host social interactions.

Exterior Design
Exterior design that connects the past, present, and future of the land.

Lantern Screen
We sought to evoke the atmosphere of a town frequented by scholars and the festive nature of the downtown Tokyo area through the use of soft lighting from lanterns, as if they were streetlamps.
The random placement of multiple screens throughout the facility provides privacy, while reducing the sense of oppression for both the residents and the surrounding community.

Historical Sign from the Shirahige Line
We have established a community-facing corner showcasing historical information on the Keisei Shirahige Line, a railway line that once ran through this area, via ceramic sign panels featuring photographs and route maps from the past. This serves as an educational and enjoyable experience for both local residents and visitors to learn about the local history.
The pillars in the corner were constructed using actual tracks from the past, preserving them as a link between the past and the present, and are on display for all to see.


Shirahige Special Nursing Home for the Elderly

primary use : Special Nursing Home
design : AIDAHO Inc.
general contractor : Matsui Construction Co., Ltd.
location : Tokyo
completed : 2021/11
photo credits : Kenta Hasegawa | OFP

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