The RIBA President's Medals Student Awards

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“Celestial Care”, Community for 6000 residents

A crisis of ageing looms, as the ‘baby boomers’ retire and we all live longer. This thesis explores our care deficiency, elderly mobility issues, community fragmentation and our attitudes towards the elderly.

My aim is to achieve a utopian solution to the later stages of life, retirement as a whole, not merely ‘old age’, which is so often compromised by illness. My research into elderly care provision in the UK convinced me that a template for a such a community could be established. This template is applied over the 22,000 people over 65 in and around Huddersfield. This population is broken down by area into a polycentric network of communities. The thesis focuses on the largest of these; a care community for over 6000 people.

Designing for 6000 residents individually would be a monumental task and therefore a code was written, based on earlier research into cybernetics, that actively distributes form, programmes and services to the specification of the required demographic of the community and within the constraints of the site. The code is therefore an endlessly flexible modeling tool for complete care communities.

Organised radially, the community allows for maximum integration with the surroundings for the most independent residents at the outskirts whilst providing the security, protection and efficient care systems required by the more dependent residents at the centre. Run and managed by a committee made up of active residents, each community benefits from their skills, developed and honed over a lifetime of work.

Each level of the model is defined as a product of the one beneath it through cellular automation using excel, this allows the form and volume to be accurately controlled. The code, written in Maya, then evaluates each volume relative to its position in the model and to the conditions of its neighbours before the appropriate design script can be implemented and its form takes shape.

The code could be applied to the other communities in the network by simply defining the site constraints and the number of prospective residents broken down by age. Each new community takes roughly 10 seconds to design.

http://vimeo.com/27854978

Joe Haire
Tutor:
Richard Brook
Dr Nick Dunn
• Page Hits: 3577         • Entry Date: 08 September 2011         • Last Update: 08 September 2011