Considering the Architectural Study of Care Homes in Chinese territory, a conceptual matrix is presented. This matrix answers to the requirements related to:
GEOGRAPHIES AND ADEQUACY: It is necessary a proposition which integrates with the rich and ancient Chinese cultural reality. It is also necessary that this proposition can be universal enough in order to be implemented in any other geographical area;
SEGMENTATION: for low cost segments (700 ppl), medium (500 ppl) or premium (300 ppl), the care homes model will have to start from a common conceptual matrix and then go down to the different segments; inside each segment different audiences will be considered: autonomous,
semi-dependent and dependent;
MODULARITY: different contexts imply different approaches and typologies, as well as different equipments. However the matrix must remain the same and must be recognisable in its various strands. Therefore it is necessary a language and modular elements able to “draw up” solutions as different as the challenges of each Care Home.
How many times do building materials, clothes, music, the paper in which we write and the pen we use, nutritious food and beverages used by many, come from the same plant?
How many? Not many.
It is necessary to be very versatile, universal and abundant to be present in so many life dimensions. In fact, the underground construction of the roots of this giant gramineae explains the huge height and the amazing growth that make it a symbol of health and longevity. We are talking, of course, about bamboo.
GEOGRAPHIES AND ADEQUACY
The Chinese people love bamboo and China was the first country to begin the research and the exploitation of this plant. In the 1950s, in Xi’an, the ideogram that means bamboo was found in ceramic materials dated 6,000 years, which proves the antiquity of the plant in the Chinese reality.
Besides being the main food of giant pandas, an animal considered a symbol of China, bamboo is also a cultural icon of the country. It is widely represented in the Chinese art, poetry and literature with the meaning of longevity, good health, strength and resistance, remaining green the entire year.
Furthermore, bamboo efficiently absorbs carbon dioxide and it has excellent physical, chemical and mechanical characteristics. It is a natural resource that grows back in a short period of time and there is not any other forest specie that can compete against bamboo, considering growth velocity and utilization per area.
As the bamboo forest has the advantage to adapt itself according to temperature, to reduce noises and to improve air, creating a barrier effect against strong winds, it is used to protect the environment, being therefore an eco-friendly element, an important value nowadays.
Thus, the bamboo plant is the conceptual matrix for the IdealLife Care Homes.
Such as in real life, this giant gramineae faces all the adversities with a great underground structure which allows it to face all life stages with flexibility — bending with the fury of the wind or of the rain — but never breaking.