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07/20/2013 - Building Report: Lounge for social communication, Landau i. d. Pfalz

Modern designer furniture from the Dauphin HumanDesign® Group, lots of daylight and an invitingly homely atmosphere - the new day meeting centre at the Ecumenical Welfare Centre in Landau i. d. Pfalz is designed to cater for the needs of day patients who have care needs and are suffering from dementia, but it consistently relies on the idea of people meeting instead of just care. The high level of demand justifies this bold, life-affirming concept.
 
Offenhausen, July 2013. In Germany, there are roughly one million people suffering from dementia (disruption to a person's short-term memory). Everyday care demands a great deal of understanding, particularly from relatives, to appreciate the changes that occur to the personality of the person affected and this often drains their physical and mental strength. The demand for professionally run day meeting centres is correspondingly great.

The Ecumenical Welfare Centre in Landau has responded to the great demand and the different needs of its day patients and set up a new, modern day meeting centre which caters primarily for people with slight memory loss and sets completely new standards in doing so.

The modern-functional furnishings – designer seating in the entrance area, fresh and friendly colours on the walls and floors, lots of glass and light – are more reminiscent of a lounge than a daycare facility. "The decor in this facility is deliberately supposed not to look it does in guests' homes," says managing director Karin Leiner in explaining the visionary concept. The aim is to ensure that the people feel like they are on a short holiday. "They should dress up smart if they want to, and just enjoy a break from their everyday lives."

The semi-residential offering is designed to provide relief for caring relatives, especially spouses. The central focus is on social contact and thus preventing loneliness and isolation. People cook and eat together, and enjoy arts, crafts, music and dancing together. The use of new media such as computers with screens forms as much of the portfolio on offer as reading corners and "feelgood islands". "We make ourselves comfortable here," informs Karin Leiner, who is also responsible for the idea of the modern interior furnishings. She received expert, professional support from Niederer & Gertz, a leading regional commercial and service company in the office equipment and furnishing industry.

Managing director Michael Gertz says: "When it came to the furnishings, the options chosen included 'modul space' from Bosse, 'Little Perillo' from Züco and the 'Enzo' multipurpose chair from Dauphin, all brands of the Dauphin HumanDesign Group. As well as the performance capabilities of these systems, we were persuaded above all by the planning services and the dedication to the needs of the customer offered by the manufacturer."

CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC FUNCTIONAL DESIGN

The consistent furnishing concept caters for the needs of people with early dementia and the care they require: this means aesthetic, modern furnishings which are equally functional and homely and provide a feelgood atmosphere. "What we wanted was a classic, timeless design so that the day patients with dementia are not overexcited," says Michael Gertz. Just as important was a consistent design concept with a futuristic outlook and the possibility of replacing damaged modules without any problems. Great importance was also attached to details such as lockable pull-out drawers so that scissors, syringes and medicines can be stored away safely and securely. Almost all "modul space" sideboards and cabinets are equipped with the required locks. In addition, the DHDG furniture is designed to be wheelchair-accessible and adapted to the needs of disabled people.

The stylish material and colour concept, the area plan and the zoning of the floor space were created by the interior designer Yvonne Grünheit, from the Bosse planning team. For the fronts of the furniture, she chose easy-care melamine Congo, the fronts in the upper areas are made from high-quality pine decor and the cover panels of the multifunctional counter are made from dark-grey oak veneer. The finely nuanced range of colours rounds off the sophisticated, individualised furnishing concept in a harmonious way.

BUILDING FACT FILE

Building: Ökumenische Sozialstation Landau e. V., GER-Landau i. d. Pfalz    
Specialist retailer: Niederer & Gertz GmbH, GER-Landau i. d. Pfalz
Seating furniture: “Little Perillo“ from Züco, “Enzo“ from Dauphin, “sim-o“ from Trendoffice, “modul space“ from Bosse Design
Furniture: “modul space“ from Bosse Design
Manufacturer: Dauphin HumanDesign® Group, D-Offenhausen