Villa Carital

Villa Carital was the first care facility in British Columbia to employ a new conception of residential care in its design called the "home concept".
Project Type
Seniors Housing, Healthcare
3050 Penticton St., Vancouver, BC
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This innovative concept constitutes a significant departure from the institutionalized model which has traditionally governed health care design, in which one typically finds double-loaded resident wings with centralized dining, lounge and bathing areas.

With several self-contained households or homes, each accommodating a small group of twelve to fourteen residents in a manner more in keeping with an extended family arrangement. Each home or household has its own dining, living and activity areas, bathing room, care centre and support services, thus permitting residents in their daily lives to live among familiar faces.

“…it was a great honour to share with you the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s Award of Merit in connection with the design of Villa Carital…you were able to convert our vision into reality…”

The 2-storey project has three homes on each floor organized around a central atrium. In scale and proportion, the atrium suggests an Italian village street, and as such, acts primarily as a meeting place for residents. Linear skylights in the atrium permit natural light into the heart of the building, and the Tuscan colours, the boldest in the building, not only draw cultural allusions, but also serve as a way­finding reference.

The homes are configured in plan to create secured gardens and are oriented for maximum exposure to natural light, views and fresh air. The living area within each home is focused on a fireplace and hearth as well as the views into the landscaped gardens. At the doorway to each resident room is a “memory box”, a glass case set into the wall where residents can place various memorabilia: family photos, a jewelry box or a beaded doll collected on an overseas trip. The memory box, an innovative feature. not only serves the primary purpose of way-finding, but also personalizes the homes and stimulates conversation and socializing among residents, visitors and caregivers.

The Villa Carital helped establish a new direction and a new sense of compassion and dignity in the concerns of caring for the frail elderly.