Conceived as a village, this healthcare center in Dax – in France’s Landes department – is designed specifically for people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The objective of the project is to improve the quality of life and the overall wellbeing of patients and their caregivers alike, eliminating medical symbols including white coats. Integrated into nature, the premises are organized in four residential clusters and a main plaza surrounded by a store, a hairdresser’s shop, a restaurant, and a cultural center.
For the construction of the complex, the Copenhagen firm NORD Architects relied on research on how the built environment impacts on people with dementia. The studies revealed the positive effect of recognizable, familiar elements, which give residents a sense of home. Analysis of nearby towns showed arches as a recurring motif on squares of old quarters, so they make their way into the main plaza of Le Village Landais Alzheimer. The choice of materials and the sensitivity to local architectural tradition reinforce the idea of a recognizable setting.