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PROJECT REPORT: SOCIAL & AFFORDABLE HOUSING


47


balconies and first-time buyer homes. This colouring is accentuated in the intense sunshine of Southern France. The colour scheme selected by the architects for the facades and railings differs slightly from one section of the project to another, while always utilising natural shades of Montpellier sand across the board – ranging from yellow to Siena.


Togetherness With senior care in particular, but also strongly the case for some of those in social housing, it is easy for residents relocated into assisted housing to feel marginalised by society. While design for such facilities has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years, care homes often ring of separation and abandonment, of being swept aside by society into a corner. Social housing has carried a similar stigma, with council blocks separated from regular private housing.


However at Mas de Rochet, there is no immediately obvious separation between the apartments for senior care and the other tenures. This will, the team hopes, significantly help towards engendering a strong sense of community in the development, promoting togetherness as opposed to being ostracised from each other. To continue to encourage this community


spirit, a ‘municipal centre’ has been built among the public space in the senior care building, surrounded by well-tended


ADF SEPTEMBER 2018


greenery, which features across the whole development. This building, called “La Maison des proximités du Mas de Rochet,” has been provided in an effort to combat potential isolation among residents. As well as including information on local facilities and events, it enables them to socialise with other residents, and helps bridge generational gaps. With the population ageing in France as in the UK, the topic of how to care for our elderly has never been higher on the agenda. To combat any sense of dislocation, the social care apartments have been placed in the heart of the community, designing them from the outset as a part of district’s ‘general population’.


At this development in particular, as is a growing trend in homes for both the young and old, the approach to modernise assisted living for the elderly of Mas de Rochet has been to imbue a perception of hotel living into the apartment block. Residents will be greeted by a hotel style lobby, and can take advantage of a range of on site amenities, including a restaurant, relaxing in the games room or one of the lounges, and perhaps get a new style from the in-house hairdresser. All of this provides the assistance and care that the residents will need, but introduces it in an unobtrusive, familiar way. It also strengthens the community inside the building itself, with residents able to socialise outside of their homes, but within a nearby, safe, accessible location.


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HARMONY


The facades provide a mix of earthy stone and white-rendered balconies set at varying angles


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