Aktios Odigos Elderly Care Unit, 2014-17

Elderly Care Unit in Vari, Attica

The linear building with a 103 m long facade expands in 3.420 sq.m. in 4 separate levels on a hard stone steep slope. It is located on a Natura protected region. It was initially built in 1970 to host the Girl Scouts Association – a Center for Education and Welfare. In 2004 it was renovated by Tombazis & Associates Architects, maintaining the Girl Scouts use hosting 120 beds. As Aktios Elderly Care addresses to senior citizens but also to patients with dementia and Alheimer’s disease – the building had to be carefully adapted to meet all new requirements. To enhance daily operation, rehabilitation areas were separated form living areas. Each level was designed as an autonomous health care unit with its own spatial requirements. New spaces were introduced, such as doctors’ chambers and offices, gym, empowerment areas, physiotherapy etc. Living areas were also addressed to patients with a different degree of daily needs; hard cases were separated for the soft ones. The building’s linear geometry with a sole main staircase placed in the middle made it very hard for daily operation and circulation speed. Thus, to speed-up vertical  circulation for treatment and safety reasons, a new set of high-speed elevators had to be introduced. New floor plans and layouts were introduced. Moreover, Aktios holds a certain design strategy for all patients: in order to stimulate brain activity, vibrant colours, clean-cut lines and shapes, together with minimal textured heavy-duty materials are of crucial importance. The project was developed in 3 phases; separate building permits for each phase of the project, three separate elevators to transform the building for better daily operation. The project lasted 3 years altogether (2014-2017).