Children and seniors enjoy shared spaces and facilities
The Vuoripirtti service community built in the neighbourhood of Tiilinmäki in Espoo brings together services for children and the elderly. Shared spaces open up a world of new possibilities for doing things together.
The Vuoripirtti service community combines early education for children (day care) and assisted homes with nursing services for the elderly. The early education services are offered by the Touhula VekaraVuori day care centre, while the services for senior citizens are provided by Attendo Vuoripirtti.
— When it comes to increasing the interaction between children and seniors, I can honestly say that it is a win-win situation, says Titta Tossavainen, the City of Espoo’s director of Finnish-language early education for children.
Efficient land use in harmony with the environment
Espoo has decades of experience of using privatised early education and service bundling to support the city’s service offering.
—But we did not have a combination like Vuoripirtti yet, Tossavainen notes with satisfaction.
Because a day care centre alone would only have used a part of the permitted building volume of the site, Hoivatilat analysed what other services were needed in the area that is currently being developed towards higher population and service density. As a result, the day care centre was paired with an assisted-housing nursing home.
The result is a two-storey, partly brick-faced building that blends in well with the area and its residential buildings. In keeping with the surrounding buildings, the design of the building has made creative use of the curved shape of the site and the exposed bedrock in the yard areas, which are an attractive feature for play and other outdoor activities.
— We have completed a number of projects together with Hoivatilat. Like our earlier projects, everything worked smoothly also here in Vuoripirtti and we are very satisfied with the result. Collaboration with the nursing home that operates in the same building has also started out nicely, says Attendo’s director of nursing services Simo Saaranen.
— Having the two units under the same roof brings a number of benefits. Moments shared between the children and the elderly can be arranged spontaneously at short notice. The children have, for example, visited the seniors to sing to them, and the seniors have visited the children to bake with them. We are now planning shared Easter decoration workshops. Just having the children near them is a joy to the seniors. We have large floor-to-ceiling windows to the courtyard, and many seniors simply enjoy watching the children play in the playground outside. It is a small thing, but it brings great joy to them, says Heidi Boman, director of the nursing home.