Think about the last time you visited a retirement home. Pretty grim, right? What should be one of the best-designed places a person will ever live usually betrays just the barest functionality–more akin to a prison or a public-school than anything else. Compare that to the new Santa Rita Geriatric Center in Spain, designed by Manuel Ocaña, which is intended to make leisure time as convenient as possible. As a result, it banishes the byzantine corridors and darkened rec-rooms that you’ll find elsewhere.
The individual rooms are laid out around a courtyard garden. Thus, every resident has privacy as well as a door that opens onto what amounts to an outdoor lobby. Moreover, each room has a direct route to each of the common areas, which are also arrayed around the courtyard’s perimeter. The openness and ease of the plan basically acts as its own map: To grasp the building’s programs and activities, each resident merely has to look out the window. In addition, the interior has a subtle mnemonic device: The north facade has window enclosures tinted blue and green, while the south and east facades are tinted yellow.
Check out more pics at Arch Daily.