For lack of a better label, exclusive villages aren’t what they seem. In fact, one in the Netherlands exists primarily for transients. Even better — it runs on solar power! As the trend gains traction, Canada has slithered its way into the updraft, inaugurating its first “dementia community.”
“We’ve really designed and tried to build communities where people could be independent and live their own life their way,” [project leader Elroy] Jespersen said… “We thought we should add another piece to that to allow them to stay within, if you will, our ‘family’ of communities.”
The single-story, cottage-style homes will act as humble abodes to 78 residents. If there is one thing The Village isn’t, it’s a nursing home. Inhabitants will be able to shop, grab an Americano, and avail of regular services. Nonetheless, living costs remain a pressing issue.
“People will say that’s a lot of money, and it absolutely is a lot of money,” he said. “It’s about the same amount of money we would get from the government if the government funded us to provide care. That’s what it costs to do what we’re doing.”
Where money gets in the way, hopefully others vie for change.
In a new age of technology, tradition is becoming outdated. Still, small, independent groups are attempting to keep bits of history alive. Just recently, students from a Hong Kong university paid tribute to bamboo weaving in Peitian. The project proved impactful but modest, whereas other communities are taking a more urgent approach. To keep afloat, the Swiss village of Albinen is offering potential residents up to £50,000 to migrate in.
The council will soon be voting on the new initiative, which aims to repopulate a community that has dwindled to just 240 residents.
Like with all attractive propositions, the move comes with a catch — several of them. Takers must be below the age of 45 and live in a 200,000-franc residence for at least 10 years. You’ll also need to learn German. And while you may still be salivating over the promise of a hefty check, there is little to do in Albinen.
There’s little going on in the town’s centre, save for its narrow cobbled turns, centuries-old houses, a church and a shop.
That being said, with good company and a zest for the outdoors, Albinen may be the place for you.
We have seen the likes of solar-powered cellphones and commuter trains become a reality. But an entire community of energy-neutral homes seems slightly out of our reach. Maybe not for the Dutch. Studio Elmo Vemijs has erected a solar-powered village for the homeless.
The architects designed the tiny homes specifically for individuals suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, and anyone that simply has trouble living in a traditional home environment.
Skaeve Huses or “special homes” in the Netherlands are mostly intended for transients. However, the village hopes to be a more permanent solution for those who need it.
All of the structures are made out of a corrugated steel facade with protruding window frames, but each has a unique color scheme. The interior layouts include an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bathroom along with large windows that provide optimal natural light on the interior.
While halfway houses focus on recovery, designers at Studio Elmo Vemijs believe a home must also have a relaxing aesthetic. Each villa is designed to ensure privacy but avoid isolation. I’ve got to hand it to the Dutch. They sure know how to give back in more ways than one.