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Two major challenges determined the concept behind this new Nursing Home, designed to house 130 residents:

  •  Create a building that complies with passive energy standards, which was be a first for a rest home at that time (2009),
  • Build a bridge between the living space and the communal areas, doing away with corridors in the accommodation units.

To tackle both of these goals, the project adopted a very simple, compact form, with high inertia, surrounded by a continuous ring of bedrooms on the two upper floors.

The building is rectangular and crossed by two elliptical patios around which communal life is organised. These areas are light, welcoming and open, leading to wide indoor terraces. This compact plan offers numerous qualities, including an easy view from the nurses’ stations in the middle, the option for residents to walk between the units on the same floor without corridors or dead-ends and plenty of natural light flooding through the patios.

The transition between the bedrooms, as individual living areas, and the open communal spaces leading to the patios, mirrors a particular type of urban layout: the journey from a front door to the square in the middle of a village or town.

The historic reference to Guise’s Familistère, designed and created in the 18th century, is not insignificant: an icon in the history of social architecture, it was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries in many different variations.

Zero energy residential nursing and care home construction with a capacity of 120 beds.

Rue du Troisième Age
7540 Kain
Centre Public d'Action Sociale de Tournai
Health & Wellness
8 725 m2
Temporary association ASSAR ARCHITECTS, ARTAU, MKE, NEY, 3E and JNC.
Structural engineer: NEY & Partners
Building services: MK Engineering
Sustainable development: 3E
Landscape architect: JNC
General contractor: DHERTE