31 care home rooms, 13 senior apartments
Photographs: Riikka Kantinkoski
Villa Vuoranta’s design principle has been in line with the ’Living as a service’ ideology. This means that in the design of the property, the best aspects of a home and high-level services are combined to create a respectful and enticing whole.
A paradigm shift is taking place in senior living; it’s no longer about designing a facility as a necessity, but rather with desirability in mind. How do we make a facility so attractive that moving in and living there becomes an interesting opportunity, a new home?
At the same time, we wanted the facility to be attractive and easily accessible to visitors and guests, a new value proposition for the entire area. Nature and the sea provide peace and revitalization. Large windows, expansive rooftop terraces, and the area’s forests with trails and waterfront piers bring nature closer.
Every person has a need for a beautiful and secure environment, regardless of age or circumstances. One could even argue that this need increases as mobility decreases, and solutions for personal space become even more significant. Soft tones, tactile surfaces, warm wood, homeliness, and soft textiles all contribute to creating a sense of home.
At the same time, sensory accessibility and functionality are crucial; when illness or pain burdens the mind, it is especially important to eliminate unnecessary negative sensory stimuli. This may mean, for example, the ability to adjust lighting according to circadian rhythms, softening of ambient sounds, or the smooth touch of a wooden railing.
In the design of Vuoranta, each space was examined through an empathetic and humane lens: what can be done to improve a person’s well-being? The result is evident in the well-being of residents, visitors, and employees alike.
This culturally significant renovation project required a special understanding from the designers, and we assisted the client in assessing usability, the potential of spaces, and the business boundaries to achieve the best equation. Understanding the smooth functioning of everyday life was ensured through close collaboration and various workshops.
Conceptual design also explored user paths in line with the ideologies of the hotel and tourism industry, from both the resident’s and visitor’s perspectives. The space can currently invite and encourage both experiencing nature and interacting with people. This requires a profound understanding of everyday activities combined with fundamental respect for people.
In this sense, Vuoranta, originally designed by Helmer and Pirkko Stenroos as a training center for Alko, is a particularly suitable project; the building’s spaces have been designed in dialogue with nature and with a deep understanding of people.