Residential Home for Eldery, Masans

Residential Home for Eldery, Masans
Architect: Peter Zumthor
Address: Kronengasse, Masans, Chur, Switzerland
Investor:Stiftung Evangelische Alterssiedlung Masans

The building is intended for elderly people who can still live on their own and look after themselves. To the front it faces onto the Kronengasse street and the old center of Masans, and at the rear is located the existing old people's home, whose nursing facilities can be used as and when required.
The old and new building „farmstead“ arranged around a broad courtyard. Existing features such as the lw wall alongside the Kronengasse, a shed and a mature lime tree were all incorporated into a new entrance situation, which now looks as if it has always been like that. The tone is informal and rural.
Throughout the complex consisting of 21 apartments, a guest room and ward room, all connected by external corridors, one can see evidence of the declared design objectives, i.e. the creation of a certain rural atmosphere in a suburban setting, the sensory perception of material (a basic trio of exposed concrete, tuga and larchwood), and clarity and legibility of construction detail. Our hope was that the building would seem relaxed and informal, like a big “rock“ in the broad, open mountain scenery, expertly worked with precise, careful, perhaps even old-fashioned craftsmanship; we wanted the apartments, although small, to appear large, with bedroom doors which, when closed, seem to disappear into the built-in cupboards either side. We wanted the inhabitants to feel at home, an impression from their own lives in the surrounding villages; timber flooring which sounds hollow when you walk on it, wooden paneling on tufa walls, an integrated veranda protected from the wind, and, in a front corner of the wall, an oriel window with a view up the valley towards the evening sun; also, in the birch-wood-clad kitchenette, a window through which one can cast an inquisitive glance onto a private patio in the outdoor corridor or watch the comings and goings on the east side of the courtyard.
The plan of the building is based on the idea of corporeal elements (supporting masonry piers, solid sanitary blocks, non-supporting wooden boxes) placed at regular intervals in the overall ground plan and surrounded by a continuum of space.
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