It is so good to travel. The wide perspective this gives us and which had been denied us during the pandemic years, is perhaps appreciated even more after this hiatus.
I am an architect and represent a practice that specialises in all types of accommodations for older people from independent living to very frail and high care needs.
On a recent visit to the magnificent city of Paris I took the opportunity to visit some newly built contemporary seniors housing developments within the city. My initial research was a desktop search for new ‘housing for the aged or elderly- Paris’ which yielded a few results which were mostly from architectural media publications.
Like other nations, France has been grappling with developing a strategy for caring for its ageing population and integrating care and social models. Retirement homes in France are known as EHPAD’s which is a residential establishment for elderly dependent people. Recent studies around integrating EPHAD’s into apartment buildings and create inter-generational habitats have yielded interesting results in urban living.
The City of Paris is also challenged to meet its climate change objectives with new developments and urban planners have had to look beyond the established traditional Haussman configuration of six storey buildings towards innovative and sustainable design solutions that require additional height. More mid and high rise buildings are appearing in Paris within the city arrondissments which are generally contained by the Peripherique (ring freeway) that encircles Paris.
The former site of the old St Lazare railway yards at Porte Clichy is in the 17th arrondissment, towards the north west of Paris and has undergone significant urban renewal to be re-created as into an exemplary ‘eco-district’. It comprises of 3400 housing units on 54 hectares, which includes the 10 hectare Martin Luther King Park around which the district has been planned.
NEARLY COMPLETED DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLICHY BATIGNOLLES ECO DISTRICT – PARIS, FRANCE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLICHY BATIGNOLLES ECO DISTRICT SHOWING THE GREAT CITY OF PARIS
In setting out to visit some of the aged care buildings I had researched and identified on my desktop in Australia, I discovered with delight and surprise the whole eco-district of Clichy-Batignolles and the Parc Martin Luther King and that the aged care developments are finely crafted and connected within the urban development. The full integration and inclusion of seniors housing into the community of Clichy Batignolles is supported with quality architecture and design that sits proudly amongst the neighbouring buildings in the mixed-use precinct.
SUMMER DAYS IN MARTIN LUTHER PARK IN THE CLICHY BATIGNOLLES
The two EHPAD’S that I visited are shown in the above figure 7 and are developments that include a residential aged care component and an independent living component and/or social housing component.
VINCI AND ORPEA –AGED CARE AND RESIDENT GARDEN
Unlike the traditional formal streetscapes of Paris, these buildings sit apart from one another, not joined together, which gives the ground plane a physical permeability to enable pedestrians to move between buildings and to create useable public spaces around the ground plane of each building.
The precinct is strongly pedestrian focused, with restricted vehicle movement and low speed limits. Roadways are restricted to about 12 percent of the total surface area, and low speed limits are enforced. The development encourages walking and use of mass transit
In this environment, older people feel safer and are encouraged to engage with the park and public domain.
PARIS HABITAT – ACCOMODATION FOR DEPENDENT SENIORS SHOWING THE DEVELOPMENT VIEWED FROM THE PUBLIC SHARED WALKWAY SHOWING THE TWO MASSING ELEMENTS WHICH DEFINE THE RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE AND THE INDEPENDENT LIVING COMPONENTS WHICH ARE SEPARATED BY A GENEROUS ROOF TERRACE ON LEVEL 5
Published by Urban Design Review, November 2022
Written by Lara Calder
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