It Takes a Village

June 14, 2018
Garden gate
Photo: Unsplash/Peter Mason

France's Landais Alzheimer is an experimental housing community for those living with the degenerative brain disease, offering live-in caretakers, volunteers, and a team of researchers. 

Inspired by dementia village Weesp in the Netherlands and medieval citadels, and started by local French Minister of Parliament Henri Emmanuelli, Le Village Landais Alzheimer has a research center on site studying the impact of new therapeutic approaches on patients and those caring for them, says AFP Professor, neurologist, and epidemiologist Jean-François Dartigues, The Spaces reports. 

Danish practice NORD Architects – which has designed a range of healthcare centres in Europe – won a competition in 2016 to design the village. Its scheme eschews contemporary design in favour of the type of buildings found in the medieval fortified towns around Landes, so that inhabitants don’t feel disorientated. Residents will be spread across a number of small shared houses, organised into four ‘neighbourhoods’, and will have their own supermarket, health centre, library, salon and farm. The village will be designed to boost patients’ sense of direction, visual bearings and memory.

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