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The Gezellige Community Hub




June 20, 2022


Moerwijk, Den Haag, The Netherlands

The challenges posed by aging are escalating, and current housing and public spaces are falling short in meeting the evolving needs of the elderly. In the Netherlands, issues such as loneliness and neglect among the elderly in neighborhoods have become prevalent. In response, proposals for collective living or intergenerational cohabitation have gained traction. Our focus on Moerwijk, a designated area for our course, involved an in-depth study of the community.

During our exploration, we engaged with residents, seeking to understand the dynamics between the elderly and their neighbors. Our approach extended beyond observation—we actively participated in communal activities, such as preparing and sharing dinners at the local community food place. These interactions provided valuable insights into the needs of the elderly within the community.

Following a three-week research period, we identified an existing building as the project site. Retaining the original layout and room configuration, we introduced a new architectural volume in the courtyard. This addition serves as a multi-functional café and bookstore, fostering opportunities for residents to convene, socialize, and connect. The design aims to promote social interaction while ensuring a level of privacy and independence for the elderly. The self-sustaining mechanism incorporated into the space further enhances the quality of communal living.

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