Integral design: Gesamtkunstwerken as a result

  1. integral design
  2. care centre

In the VG Visie of 6 December 2019, landscape architect Elisabeth Floris and architect Marko Matic talk about their vision of an increasingly important field of assignments at IAA Architecten: care homes and care parks. They believe that the demographic developments in the Netherlands require an integral approach in order to achieve humane and sustainable results. This integral approach creates future-proof 'Gesamtkunstwerken' in the care sector.


An integral approach stimulates seeing and developing everything in coherence: the building, the landscape, the interior, the vision of the care institution on how the residents and staff can develop. Subsequently, the design of the building and the immediate surroundings of the landscape should contribute to that vision.

Vogelvlucht Het Altingerhof

Landscape and architecture in dialogue

A good example is the project Het Altingerhof in Beilen for elderly people suffering from dementia. Research shows that elderly people with dementia benefit from sensory contact with a green environment. The task was to make the experience of the different seasons as visible and tangible as possible in a relatively limited area, both inside and outside of the buildings. By first zooming out and looking at the landscape, landscape qualities such as healthy trees, a pond and a park with a connection to the adjoining residential area emerged. In this way, other built and spatial solutions were created than initially intended. The end result is a design in which all the apartments have direct access to the outdoors: landscape and architecture are in dialogue, they connect seamlessly.

Future-proof projects

The power of working integrally is to break through existing 'boxes and walls' out of different disciplines in order to arrive at a shared vision. It is important to create something that feels pleasant to all involved and which is sustainable and flexible, while not losing sight of financial feasibility. This working method results in future-proof projects.

Here you can read the complete article in VG Visie! (in Dutch)

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