16 Nov 2023

Building a community

A day care centre that uses architecture to help elderly users feel less isolated and supports increased connection and wellbeing has been named the UK’s best new building. The John Morden Centre includes medical and social spaces for residents of the 300-year-old Morden College almshouse and reflects the historic property in its design.

But it also makes use of new ideas to become “a place a joy and inspiration… delivering a bold and hopeful model for the design of health and care centres for the elderly”. The building was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize 2023, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award.

Ellen van Loon, Chair of the RIBA Stirling Prize jury, said: “It illustrates how buildings can themselves be therapeutic – supporting care and instilling a sense of belonging. Great architecture orients people so they can thrive, and this building is exemplary at achieving exactly that.”

Find out more about the winning building and the other finalists on the RIBA website.

Meanwhile a new community development in Sweden is exploring how sharing technologies can help create more self-sufficient, sustainable and energy efficient households. The 500 homes at Brobyholm will be fitted with connected smart appliance and devices, while solar panels on each property will contribute to charging storage batteries used by all the residents. Sensors will also be able to automatically adjust features such as interior heat and lighting based on conditions outside.

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