Practising Empathy – An Experience in Immersive Design
- What makes a Home? A family living together in a safe place, populated with familiar furniture, fixtures and friends. A place where residents feel a sense of belonging.
- What is nursing? Nursing is about improving the quality of life of individuals by providing appropriate care while helping to retain some level of autonomy and engagement.
- Who receives the care? Care extends to not only residents but also visitors, community and staff to facilitate bonding and emulate a sense of community.
- How can the architect shape the right home for this community to flourish?
We immersed ourselves in their daily operations: understanding how many residents each nursing team oversees; what challenges they face in space planning; what situations are prone to trigger resident’s anxiety; and, what exactly is the condition and ability of different groups of residents.
Bringing the Ground Level to Every Floor
In general, and despite the slow pace in the home, mobility appeared paramount to everyone. Some residents would go around continuously and enjoy doing so to pass the time. It was clear that the garden surrounding the chapel and courtyards punctuating indoor spaces were the main incentive to for residents to move around.
Putting the Dignity of the User First
The “Peace Room”, contrary to being hidden away at the back of house, is given a dignified and discreet space, tucked beside the home’s main lobby. The [deceased] resident would leave this home which welcomed him or her, by the same manner, through the front door.
Staying Connected Through Faith and a Shared History
The design communicates the value of being grounded in strong connections – to the land, to the chapel’s rich heritage, and to the religious faith of this community.
A Genuine and Respectful Partnership
Closing the Loop of the Immersive Design Journey
St Joseph’s Home
36 Jurong West St. 24, Singapore 648141
Catholic Welfare Services Singapore
BES Technologies (Hydrotherapy Pool design advice)
Chan Chee Lun
Michael Leong, Chan Chee Lun, Charles Arnal, Darryl Toma