The public part of the demonstration of the Puwan Continuing Care Retirement Community
Puwan CCRC is a specialized design for senior citizens native to Beijing. It is free of an institutional look and is centered around the idea that old people have relatively poor short-term memory, but they can clearly remember things that they experienced when they were young.
Challenge: The public area of Puwan Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a specialized design for Beijing born and bred senior citizens. The space has been contextualized to reflect the area these citizens lived in when they were young. However, the design of almost all CCRCs in China has simply been copied from those in the US or Japan. Often, the elderly have relatively poor short-term memory, but they can clearly remember things that they experienced when they were young, including experiences in their former homes. Secondly, some senior citizens prefer to stay in their rooms rather than to engage in the public activities in the retirement community.
Solution: A siheyuan is a historical type of residence in Beijing. This was a basic dwelling used by natives of Beijing when they were young. All the groups of ancient Siheyuan buildings, courtyards and pathways have been covered with curtain wall and, as a result, have been fully integrated into one larger building in this project. The different levels, which because of the originally inside/outside design, have been covered with concrete and MEP pipes, and therefore changed into the same level. The spaces have been extended and the deeper buildings have been brightened by the introduction of natural light. From the inside, the residents can better see the ancient roofs and facades of the buildings, such as the ancient roofs and facades of the old buildings. Various social spaces, originally outside of the streets, which we called Beijing Hutong, have been created inside, such as an area where the elderly can play chess, a fruit stall and space to engage in conversation with others. In this “inside Hutong”, which is a communal living/drinking/reading/studying/entertaining space, their former residential street is now a the space to engage in conversation with others. Therefor a friendly neighbourhood has been created inside. In addition, a music room has been moved to a small courtyard and a two-storey library has been constructed in a larger courtyard.
The elderly in Beijing have experienced many types of apartments in past decades and are attracted by ‘fresh’ memories within ancient Siheyuan buildings full of the stories of their youth. The design for the CCRC stays away from an institutional feel.
Founded in 2015, WIT has been awarded with several international prizes like WAF/WIF, WIN, IDC by IIDA, Andrew Martin Review and SDA. Its design team, including architects, interior designers, structural engineers, FF&E designers, furniture designers and artists, provides large ranges of design services, such as hospitality, Continuing Care Retirement Community, club, residence, restaurant, retail, official and entertainment space and transportation hubs. WIT also provides FF&E services.