OCMW Nevele

The addition of 54 new care units offers a unique opportunity to complete the (rather haphazard) structure of the original caretaking centre. The positioning of a 4,400 m² programme on a virtually filled-up site of 7,460 m² led to kneading the programme into a trident volume. This makes it possible to address the suburban situation on multiple levels. The gardens around the premises are changed from residual patches of green into defined autonomous yards whose character is either introverted or very public. The latter are new connections within the city that also define the front façades and give access to the building. The terrace on the first floor becomes a belvedere, overlooking the surrounding urban diversity.

The generously opened-up façades enable the residents and the staff to fully enjoy the surrounding gardens. The façades materialize towards public spaces in shiny red glazed tiles, with more intimate or functional spaces in light grey plaster. Inside, an open network of bright, overscaled hallways leads to the different living units. Each room is doubled, offering both a living space and a bedroom area to the residents. The sleeping area with large, low windows emphasizes complete privacy, while the living room offers the exact opposite. Large sliding doors enable the residents to expand their private living area into the hallway, immersing themselves in the daily life of the home, following the activities of the staff, other residents, visitors or passers-by outside.

Besides fulfilling today’s energy standards, the integration of an elderly home into the city fabric and into society is the key feature of a social sustainability. The social service OCMW Nevele is looking for a productive relation with its context far beyond its plot. It shows how a single building can have the urban influence to change a site and its perception.

  • Location

    Nevele, Belgium

  • Design

    2004 – 2007

  • Construction

    2010 – 2012

  • 51N4E project team

    Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Kelly Hendriks, Aline Neirynck, Karel Verstraeten, Bob De Wispelaere, Tine Cooreman, Joram Van Den Brande, Maddalena Treccani, Tom Baelus

  • Structural engineering

    Ney & Partners

  • Technical engineering


  • EPB


  • Landscape


  • Programme

    Extension of seniors campus / elderly home

  • Built surface

    4.400 m²

  • Photography

    Filip Dujardin

  • Image credits