A residential facility for seniors, Guedes Cruz Architects


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A residential facility for seniors, Guedes Cruz Architects
A residential facility for seniors is a true gem of contemporary architecture, much different from the stereotyped structures often constructed for aged care. Sleek lines and choice of materials characterise the bright and very elegant spaces.

Portuguese architecture firm Guedes Cruz Architects has designed a residential facility for the elderly, promoted by Fundação Social do Quadro Bancário (Social Foundation for the Banking Sector). It stands on about 10,000 square metres in the metropolitan area of Lisbon, breathing new life into a derelict rural area.

The foundation’s goal is to fill the gap in the national healthcare system for aged care. So, it assigned the project for 52 buildings, comprising 53-square metre units and a services and social centre to Guedes Cruz Architects.

The white parallelepipeds with translucent roofs to let in natural light during the day and that light up like lanterns with a white light at night, or red if the alarm is triggered, are located on a section of land where only pedestrian traffic is allowed, the paths are wide and there are no barriers.

The pure white colour of the buildings was chosen not just as part of the design but also because it creates a white-box-effect by reflecting the light and the thermal cushion created between the roof and the apartment itself, constructed on an exposed concrete foundation, improving the building’s energy efficiency. A well was discovered during building, and it is now used to water the gardens, which helps save running costs.

The project by the team from Guedes Cruz Architects paves the way for a new kind of accommodation for seniors, who need care, making these facilities attractive and above all providing dignity for people in their golden years. The sleek, streamlined buildings honour senior citizens who can face their twilight years with style! 

(Christiane Bürklein)

Architecture: Guedes Cruz Arquitectos: José Guedes Cruz, César Marques, Marco Martinez Marinho 
Architecture Collaborators: Patrícia Maria Matos, Nelson Aranha, João Simões, Isabel Granes 
Structure: PPE 
Special installations: Espaço Energia 
Landscape Architecture: Paula Botas 
Construction Consortium: FDO + JOFEBAR 
Supervision: Mace 
Year: 2012
Location: Alcabideche, Portugal
Images: (c) Ricardo Oliviera Alves