Santa was good to me this year because the top pick from my Amazon wishlist was given to me as a gift, the book Home Design in an Aging World by Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld and Wid Chapman. Here is a highlight from the first few chapters. Future blog entries will feature other notable quotes, ideas and images.
“Imagine Keith Richards falling out of a palm tree. That’s the generation we built this for. The Building says, ‘Let’s pretend that everyone is happy and healthy, but if you need anything, you can get it. It’s a back door to being old.” Dutch Architect Arnoud Gelauff, speaking about Plussenburg, his design for a high-rise for seniors 55 and older and the new meaning of home and home design in an aging world.
Plussenburgh is an apartment building for the elderly in the Netherlands, was inspired by the forthcoming retirement of the hippie generation. The project embraces its target market’s denial of aging by proposing a playful, colorful apartment block. The main structure juxtaposes a tower and an elevated slab. The slab volume is lifted more than 30 feet above a water feature in an open plaza, and creates a spectacular view onto an existing pond from the adjacent pre-existing nursing home. The minimal footprint of the tower creates space for a garden.
The two main volumes consist of apartments with a broad, uninterrupted span that allows for multiple floorplans and adaptability in the future. An inconspicuous elevator shaft connects the new building to the older one, where medical personnel, cooks and other help is available.
Wavy balconies and the glazed galleries—set with self-cleaning glass—are smooth and colored in over 200 different shades of glass are other architectural features that speak to the playfulness, experimentation and shared memories of the psychedelic 1960’s.
Also noteworthy is the image of the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is from a new Louis Vuitton ad campaign. Photographer Annie Leibowitz shot the ad that uses a tagline very appropriate to this book, and the POV of GoodDesignAgeWell, “Some journeys cannot be put into words. New York 3 a.m. Blues in C.”