|The basis for my diploma is a very subjective experience I had with my grandfather when he was admitted to a nursing home back in 2019. He was very ill with dementia and thrown into an environment that was foreign to him. Putting people with dementia illness in an hospital-like environment is not helping them improving their quality of life, it is just sustaining them a little longer.
Todays conventional nursing home is not focusing on those with dementia. To change this I believe that the institutional hospital ward should be replaced by a homely environment as close to the one we are all used to in our everyday life.
An environment that is familiar and friendly, not sterile and bereft of activity. Diamond Village takes basis in the dementia village typology, but discards the closed enclave and opens it up. In a typical dementia village that is based on the Hogeweyk model from the early 2000s the ”village” is more or less closed off, and although there are a lot of activities ment to improve life for the residents, there´s little interaction with the outside. The activities are not real programs, but scenography for the residents. What if it´s not just scenography, but something real. What if they actually live the same community as you and I.
The Diamond Village is made up of 6 seperate buildings all housing different activities that are open for everyone during the day, and closes off during the evening. Each building houses it´s own apartment group with all necessary ”server” programs.
A common symptom of dementia is restlessness and what typically happens in a conventional somatic hospital are dementia patients bumping into each ends of a corridor, confused and frustrated. In Diamond Village dynamic wandering routes are established both indoors and outdoors to prevent this. The outdoors are important for everyone - even those who are very ill.
The project is therefore located ajacent to one of the only primeval forests located inside a city. This forest is called Svartdalsparken.
Branching out from the site are hiking routes that takes you in to the forest, and is connected to existing hiking routes. Another form of outdoor activity are gardens, where residents can cultivate their own food. Synergetic to this there is a store where the public can buy fresh food grown in the gardens as well as whatever is made in the hobbyroom and workshops. There is also a swimming pool with a rehabilitation center that also focuses on research, attempting to innovate new ways of treating dementia patients.
Diamond Village is about creating an environment where the weakest in society isn´t just surviving, but thriving. But they are also a part of the general society.