Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten

Text description provided by the architects. The existing state care center is being renovated by Gem. Wohn- und Siedlungsgenossenschaft Ennstal for Volkshilfe Steiermark and expanded to include an extension for a care home and a new childcare facility. The new care home accommodates three residential communities with 15 beds each in combination with the existing care home, which provides a further 45 beds. The single and double rooms are spread over two full floors between a variety of communal areas.

Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Image 15 of 17

Covered verandas, open-air terraces, and the central courtyard are part of a large, internal recreation and exercise area. Internally, you are greeted by a sequence of rooms in the foyer, village square, rooms and inner courtyard, which, despite their high density, offer plenty of space for higher-level visual relationships.

Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Interior Photography, Chair
Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Exterior Photography, Chair, Windows, Facade

The 3 groups of childcare facilities range from nursery groups to kindergarten groups, which are accommodated in three spacious, illuminated day rooms, with a south-facing wraparound veranda providing a threshold space and additional sun protection. The functional areas are located on the northern side of the block. Due to its southern orientation, the childcare facility faces away from the neighborhood, thus adopting an introverted stance without closing itself off completely.

Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Image 2 of 17

The basic layout of the building references the well-known square courtyard, which marks clear edges on the site and defines differentiated outdoor spaces. The public address of the existing nursing home, which was only renovated with minimal interventions and extended with an addition or new building, is seen as positive. The intersection was designed as a glazed joint to distance it from the existing substance and emphasize new synergies between the old and new buildings. The open space in between marks the entrance as an inviting gesture and functions as a distributor in its new state.

Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Interior Photography, Table
Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Interior Photography, Windows

The character of the façades forms a coherent image through subtle, creative interventions and the uniform design in larch wood. On the one hand, the view of the new buildings creates an exciting shadow play at night with permeable façade elements and, on the other hand, quotes the regular rhythm of the existing building, thus creating a sense of unity. The additions are not intended to compete with the basic structure, but to create openness and harmony. Generous window openings create a strong connection to the outside and invite people to linger thanks to parapets at seating height. They also serve as an exit and extend the space for communication and community. This makes it possible to live with nature all through the year.

Multi-Generational Care Knittelfeld / Dietger Wissounig Architekten - Image 11 of 17

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