The main concept behind the whole project is the desire to activate spots of potential relationships between the inhabitants of the building, the neighborhood and the users of the kindergarten, while avoiding conflicts among the different groups. The idea is to take advantage of a mixed program and the presence of various generations to allow for the growth of a community, destined to be active, united and integrated to the urban context. With the latter, the project aims to build a deep relationship intended to evolve over time.
Different functions are comprised within the same building. In this unit, each program is interpreted by a spatial configuration and volume coherent with its purpose. The ground floor, which accommodates the public services (kindergarten, medical office and multipurpose room) and the entrance to the apartments are identified by translucent white U-glass. The three different volumes superimposed to the ground floor, introduce a smaller scale compared to a conventional residential building, while avoiding its possible alienating effects. It alludes to the image and to the meaning of a village in which the housing units are clearly identifiable and community relationships are easier to establish.
The volume hosting the vertical and horizontal distribution of the apartments (translucent like the ground floor) accommodates the common services for the apartments on each floor (laundry, reading room, small play area for children, etc..); it is an area for meetings among the inhabitants and a place to promote sharing and dialogue between tenants. This space creates a semi-private transition between the intimacy of the apartments and the urban character of the multipurpose room and the courtyard outdoor.
The volumetric organization allows a complex and varied articulation of the open spaces, which work as real extensions of the interiors. The square on Chemin de la Chavanne is intended to become a daily meeting place, an interface between the inter-generational center and the neighborhood, while creating a filter from the main road.
The aim is to consolidate the presence of collective space, which is currently inadequate in the district. The second open space described by the building, is the wide playground of the kindergarten.
A strict internal distribution on the ground floor meets the sober treatment of the outdoor spaces, where small plots of cultivable areas are alternated to mineral areas. Beyond a purely decorative function, they offer to residents, including elderly or disabled, the opportunity for both a leisure activity and work.
WILD STRAWBERRIES, the project for an intergenerational center at Gland, Switzerland was awarded a second prize / third rang.