Care homes – understated examples of tasteful design
Dozens of recently-built care homes are material proof that it is perfectly possible to design aesthetically pleasing buildings and put them together using modern materials.
So why do we have to be confronted with bland expanses of glass, steel and concrete whenever we venture into a city? And I mean a city anywhere – London, Birmingham, Sydney, Chicago.
Sorry to keep banging on about my recent holiday, but it was to Italy and nowhere else in my experience is this brutalist approach to modern building design more apparent; set as it is, against some of the most elegant architecture mankind has ever produced.
On the more familiar soil of southern England I get to see a lot of new build care homes and they are overwhelmingly easy on the eye and situated among leafy open spaces. They don’t build ‘em like they used to, thank goodness. But go to the commercial area of Poole and you can witness how the atmosphere of adventure and promise of the long established maritime port has been wrecked beyond recognition by crass and characterless high rise developments, not to mention the unrelieved acres of sheet glass which turn potentially tranquil public spaces into a cacaphonous hell.
Care home designers have cottoned-on to the simple truth that, while you can perhaps persuade people to go and work in something akin to a grand scale post-modernist toilet block, few would choose to live in one.
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