Saffier Maestro: a welcoming environment for people living with dementia

In autumn 2021, atelier PRO was selected for the interior design of Saffier Maestro, a residential care centre for elderly people with dementia. This centre will be located in Bouwlust, a spacious, green post-war residential area in the southwest of The Hague, on the current site of nursing home De Lozerhof.  The centre is part of a larger complex with about 388 homes, a parking garage and a plinth with amenities, which is developed by Stebru in cooperation with care institution woonzorgorganisatie Saffier groep, the municipality of The Hague and KOW Architects.

In our interior design, we seek to maintain a maximum amount of 'normality' - we want to create a place where the residents are first and foremost treated as people, not as patients. Even in a medical environment like a residential care centre, people have the right to a sense of individuality and homeliness, to spaces where they feel at home and can enjoy spending time with family members. We translated this into a warm, welcoming interior that offers a 'place like home' to both the residents and their families. To name but one example: we provided space for people’s personal belongings, which play an important role in making a place feel like home.

At the same time, the residential care home also needs to be dementia-friendly, so that residents and staff can function optimally. This means that we had to make well-considered choices with  regard to materials, colours and contrasts, functionality and logistics – but were luckily able to build on the experience and knowledge from previous, similar interior design projects.

With 12 wards spread over six floors, the new care centre can accommodate 136 residents. Each ward accommodates 11 to 12 people who are no longer able to live independently. Each resident has the use of their own private flat, with room for personal touches; each ward hosts a spacious living room with a communal kitchen, a place where people can socialise, enjoy meals and relax. Two clusters with meeting rooms are strategically located on central positions, spread across the different floors.

The ground floor provides space for offices, workplaces and amenities for the residents -  for example the hairdresser and the physiotherapist. This is also the location for the restaurant, which has a contemporary and welcoming design and is open to residents and their families, but also to people from the neighbourhood. The restaurant is located on a corner, with wide views of the surrounding greenery. The building’s layout offered the opportunity to include a number of distinctive, designated spaces to the restaurant, ‘rooms’ for group activities and special occasions like birthday parties or anniversaries.

Main objective is to create an environment that is both well-organized and warm, ensuring that everyone can feel at home. By incorporating the care centre into a larger complex with regular rental and owner-occupied flats, the residents also remain part of the wider community.

Preliminary work has started... to be continued!