A proposed retirement home set within an unfulfilling, isolated site in Gozo’s capital Victoria, utilised presently mainly as a car parking facility, intends to create new associations and relationships for end-users. Its fabric was influentially sculpted out of the new, potential pedestrian networks to form three distinct blocks that functionally all serve individual purposes, yet holistically, they come together to re-arrange the space into a contemporary pjazza. The holistic nature of the space is further emphasised through the delicate composition of a physical connection among all three blocks by means of an organically designed pedestrian bridge.
Such a project located in the heart of this urban context is intended to highlight and untap the existing attributes and urban quality that the nearby children’s playground and Villa Rundle Gardens clearly embody. The outward views onto these spaces, together with the recreated pjazza will evoke nostalgic memories and invigorate their bond with nature that is synonymous with Gozo. Furthermore, the presence of the nearby shopping complex, bus terminus and a newly design sports field will put the elderly population in the centre of the pedestrian’s daily lives, thus encouraging social interactions.
The architecture of the blocks intends to create a sense of familiarity with the past without compromising a sense of excitement through the careful choice of materials and a constant yet irregular rhythm of apertures. The use of limestone is an important component to the overall space design being a ubiquitous hallmark of vernacular architecture. On the other hand, the steel apertures and the meticulous use of corten steel provides a contemporary feeling that distinguishes itself from its surroundings. The complex will house approximately 250 beds, with each block catering for its guests having their own care facilities. A gymnasium, therapy room, a chapel as well as cafes and restaurants shall also be included, further reiterating the presence of a community beyond simply the residents at the home.