Resting on the grounds of the former Hummelkaserne barracks, now stands this new two-story nursing home, designed by Dietger Wissounig Architekten in Graz, Austria. The compact building is square-shaped, contains asymmetrical cut-outs that divide the home into a spatial concept of eight housing communities, with four communities on each floor. Each community is grouped around a central location referred to as a “village square,” stretching from one end of the first floor through to the other end, while being partly covered by a roof terrace. Public axis is open along the right angles, while the two gardens that cut into the home are reserved only for the residents, and more open spaces — including the four atria on the second floor and direct access to a public park planned by the City of Graz on the east side of the building — exist in and adjacent to the property.
Within each housing community is a series of rooms, a kitchen and a dining area for 13 residents and a carer, and results in generating a manageable and familiar atmosphere. Large balconies, loggias, a variety of paths and views throughout other areas of the home provides a visually stimulating environment. In order to help the residents better orient and navigate themselves in the facility, each community was developed around a different color concept. Every room slightly varies in relation to its location and the direction they face, however each room has one casement window and one larger window with a low, heated parapet that can double as a seat. Located centrally in the building are the care rooms, place there to ensure that help is only a short distance away from the inhabitants and for the nursing home to be able to operate efficiently.
Since the nursing home is constructed as a pre-fabricated passive house wooden construction — with cross laminated timber and wooden beams — with a basement, the building is wisely planned for fire safety and the prevention of other emergencies. The building’s outer façade is untreated Austrian larch, while most of the interior wood paneling is also left visible. The home achieves the goal of being a friendly and comfortable experience, thanks to the characteristics of the wood, the variety of views, the range of seating and lounges in both the house and the garden. To further achieve the cozy and spacious atmosphere, timber beams were used for the ceilings of the common rooms, while the outer walls are formed by a wooden frame insulated with rock wool and additional external wooden paneling.