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Towards an Architecture of Care: A Case Study Evaluation of the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre, Dublin

Part 2 Dissertation 2023
Rachel Gray
Robert Gordon University | UK
Dementia is fast becoming a significant epidemiological feature of the twenty-first century. Current forecasts predict the number of people living with dementia in the UK will soon surpass one million, the costs of which – emotional and otherwise – also borne by relatives and carers.

Architecture has always held an intrinsic connection to ideas, values, and ways of thinking; our interaction with the physical environment has a direct relation to the way we live. Buildings at their finest, can elevate, support, and enlighten, or at their worst can lessen and impede our lives.

It is widely recognised that architectural design can effectively support cognitive function, assist in wayfinding, and mitigate perceptual difficulties. The above context questions the established approach to care settings, and in doing so, challenges the historical context manifest in current care home typologies and architectural style.

This research explores the growing evidence base to understand the therapeutic potential of the built environment. The dissertation evaluates the architectural design decisions of the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre by Niall McLaughlin Architects to gain an understanding of to what extent, architecture and the procurement of the design brief contribute to the provision of evidence-based design quality in long-term care settings.

Rachel Gray

David Vila Domini
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