From micro to macro planning, let this be an eye-opener for inculcating a universal design that takes up the disabilities of the elderly as the design strength, thereby creating a space favouring their needs and lifestyle without compromising on the aesthetics which would unfold into an elegant expanse.
‘Age matters only when mind matters it’.
When we don’t let our mind to go behind age, we start living it.
Insecurities and disabilities elevate with age. This was the major thought, which lead to the renovation of space for my parents-in–law to cater for their old age needs and life style.Being both an architect and their daughter-in –law, I was excited to design this unique space for them, but was subjected to both criticism and appraisals during the process.
The renovation project focuses on revamping a typical bedroom to an exquisite and user-friendly space for an old age couple. The project has given a great deal of importance on analysing and considering the daily activities of the user. Since the routines vary from exercising, meditation, physiotherapy to making garlands for their favourite deities, they needed proper interior space allocation in this bedroom. Therefore, the room was extended towards the west merging the portico in it.This addition of space not only gave ample room for all their needs, but also created a very soothing and elegant look to the room.
By placing the room in this particular location, adjacent to the family dining and courtyard space, it gave the couple lots of opportunities to interact with the other family members, which was achieved by providing long sliding glass windows.Even after they retreat for the day, they can enjoy the playful antics of their grandchildren through the transparent doors.
The major criticism raised was the inclusion of verandas into the room. While comparing both the activities of the veranda and courtyard passage, the major activities that frequently happen are in the passage thus implying that the addition of the veranda into the room wouldn’t make any change in their routine activities.The orientation of the room is in such a way that there is proper light and ventilation into it.
Project: Residence Renovation
Location: Manakalapady, Thrissur, Kerala
Area: 420 sqft
Client: Mrs.Girija & Mr.Sachindranath
The windows provided have shutters opening upwards which helps in proper ventilation and shading. To let them be connected to the spaces and to give them privacy, direct access from the drawing room was shut and opening was provided from the dining area adjacent to the pooja room.
The extended bedroom has been designed with a wide-axis circulation to accommodate a wheel chair and sliding doors to allow easy access to the bedroom, washroom and closet area. The plan is integrated into three arenas, incorporating a sitting space, a washroom, the closet area and the main bedroom. The then washroom has been converted in to a closet area which merges with the passage to the new washroom, efficiently saving space. The sitting area also includes a morning kitchen, which has been tailor-made to the lifestyle of the user. This serves as a perfect set-up for preparing small meals and snacks.
The washroom is provided with a small landscaping inside to integrate nature. Lightings given enhance the aesthetic appeal and create the mood and ambience of the space. The renovation also aims in using a handle-free design, making it a minimalistic and sophisticated design, so as to accommodate wheel chairs, ramps, grab bars, etc. The door sizes, bathroom seating’s, handless openings, all these make a very big difference in the process.
The minimal décor inside the room makes the space simple and multi-functional; this allows easy movement and wheel chair access. Use of light colours inside the room blends with the psychological feeling of the old age people. Maintaining the existing violet wood ceiling which is quite dark, the material palette followed embodies an earthy organic vocabulary thus lightening up the entire room inducing a positive and soothing vibe.
And now, when I experience the joy and uniqueness of the room,those criticisms where the major stepping stones to achieve it. My suggestion is to incorporate at least one room in a residence to provide all these needs. Let them also enjoy spaces and be connected to the rest of the family.