10 August 2006

STRANGELY FAMILIAR

Another important aspect of this project is to represent a home for those who attend it, understanding a home as a nuclear, the essential, and representative of each one of us. This home is created as the building gains life. An image that illustrates this idea in a wonderful way is the photograph below by Pascuala Ortiz, which shows her home taken to the hill by her town that holds so many memories from her youth.

1 comment:

Halldóra Arnardóttir said...

This morning I was navigating for AlzheimUr and there are interesting elements that could be translated into the architecture. Perhaps they seem obvious but still, they need to be spoken.

As this illness is a social illness, the building needs to encourage and stimulate relationships. The loss of memory calls for a building that can be recognized, have vernacular elements. That is cultural elements that are drawn from the everyday life of the patients.
The medical treatment of the patient - memory training - can be brought in from the architecture itself. In America, women patients were encouraged to take active part in domestic activities but there was more difficult to find similar activities for men). The activities in a Murcia setting can be translated around the seasons that affect the life in the orchard, for both men and women.

Although AlzeimUr is no supposed to have patients during the night, I found interesting that in such centres outside each room was placed a plastic display case for mementoes of the patient's past instead of putting name tags. The mementoes help the patients to find their rooms more easily and make them more secure and confident. In the interior of AlzheimUr should therefore perhaps be assumed place for such display boxes for the patient’s belongings from the past.

Another very interesting element is about materials that seem to affect the patients. It seems that the intake of materials like aluminium and zinc affect the brain in terms of memory. This I must look at more carefully but you could ask Carmen if she knows of particular studies on this case. If this is a familiar argument then it would be worth looking into in terms of selecting building materials for the building. Perhaps it would be more coherent to the medical treatment to focus on natural building materials?

As we know and is repeatedly insisted on in all the discussion, Alzheimer is a social issue. The patients loose their abilities to socialize. So, the medical treatment is more about recovering that loss more than to cure (as it is not yet possible). In that sense it would be really exciting if the architecture of the building could therefore be a link in TRACING MEMORY.