Owner Opera Charitas, Sonvico
Design Palladino Architects, Mezzovico
Engineering Passera and Associated, Lugano
Garage Engineering Ingegner Fabio De Bernardis, Massagno
Construction A. Lepori Construction Company, Lugano
Waterproofing Drytech Ticino, Bedano
Drytech Tank 1,600 m²
MONTE VERITÀ, LOMBARDY / Few things have changed like old age, also known as the third age – which in the meantime has also been joined by the fourth age - and the facilities for the elderly must keep pace with this evolution. The architecture of care facilities can and should be part of their care and contribute to the well-being of guests.
Casa Castellanza dell’Opera Charitas, Sonvico, in Canton Ticino, was founded in 1930 by the town’s parish priest. The third renovation works were completed in 2017, adapting the structure to the needs of the elderly in the new millennium and the evolution of care methods.
The project by the architects Studio Palladino involved the construction of two new buildings and complete renovation of the existing one, increasing the accommodation to 101 guests (compared to 63 in the previous configuration).
The new building develops over 4 levels (plus one below ground) and integrates with the wing built in the 80s. The main entrance was completely changed with the addition of a new building.
Architecture is part of the care process.
The emblem of this design approach, which has as its guiding criterion the well-being of guests and the effectiveness of their care, is certainly the first floor of the building, dedicated to the housing units for people suffering from cognitive and behavioral problems of Alzheimer's disease.
The communal areas and corridors in this wing are an integral part of a "therapeutic path" aimed at helping a disoriented and wandering person to move freely, without constraints, in a protected environment. A protected garden has also been created on the same level as an extension of the therapeutic path. The paths are interrupted by small active rest areas, where the patient can stop and do small manual activities, or perceive different noises, movements and temperatures. This is in order to give them confidence and contain their anxieties. The mechanical rooms and the underground parking for staff and visitors were built under the large park with direct access to the administrative offices above, reception and the cafeteria.
The structure is a complete Drytech Tank: in addition to the foundation bed and walls, the floor slab is also waterproof because it forms the surface of the garden and, therefore, must resist water stagnation in the soil and plant roots.
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