A care home in Kvadraturen
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Discussions on transformation, densification and programming of the city core in Oslo is often related to recreation and retail as main drivers for securing the multifunctional and heterogenic city, providing what we often refer to as “urbanity.” But what if this urbanity can be better catered for through an increased focus on social heterogeneity and sustainable housing programs? For four years I worked at both a public and a private care home. In both of these typical care homes for the elderly and people suffering from dementia, I encountered a group of young adults, cognitively healthy, but with a functional disability that caused them to be dependent on a cus-tomised residence and available assistance around the clock. In the lack of a better offer or other types of care home, the group I met had been placed in their own ward in a typical nursing home. The issue of cognitively able people being moved to typical nursing homes has, unfortunately, been an issue for quite some time.1 Unfortunately, available statistics might not be giving an ap-propriate picture of the actual situation, as is made clear by recent articles and news interviews shedding light on people living at home when they ideally should live in an appropriate care home. 1 (www.aftenposten.no, 2004) This calls for a new type of care home, and a widened vocabulary of what a care home is, how it is panned and what it should consist of. Life after injury does not end. The placement of the institu-tion in the centre of Oslo will be crucial for the user´s engagement with the city, and by extension their re-entry and continued participation in society. Thus this diploma proposes to transform the existing Paleet parking facility in Kvadraturen, Oslo, as a counter-proposal to the current plans for demolishing it, exploring the possibility for the structure to be transformed into a communal working and living environment, consisting of both homes for the care home residents, as well as student apartments. Emphasizing the argument for both functionally able and disabled living side by side in the city, it does not distinguish between one or the other. With a user group that does not necessarily want to reside from the city, but be an active part of it, the community and society, the site and existing building offers an opportunity for an inclusive integration of the user group into the very centre of Oslo.