JDC Spring-2001 v3 - A Pattern Language for Designing Interiors for Alzheimer's Patients

PATTERN 10 - Community Living

Plan residents' rooms around a courtyard providing entrances to the courtyard through hallways. The hallways passing through the courtyard may also lead to a bigger garden.

The façade of the rooms facing the courtyard may be treated to resemble the front elevation of houses imparting the looks of a neighborhood.


"People will not feel comfortable in their houses unless a group of houses form a cluster with the land in between them jointly owned by all" - Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein, 1977

Placement of rooms around the periphery of a courtyard looking into it allows visual interaction between residents (personal observation). It imparts the look of a neighborhood to the care unit and promotes a sense of community. Landscaped courtyards also provide a beautiful view and green scenes to alleviate the residents. The windows help connect with life as other patients are viewed in their rooms across the internal open space invoking enthusiasm to communicate with them. The centripetal arrangement also reduces encouragement or reminders to the residents to leave by exiting from the care unit. That may have been induced if the rooms faced the roads outside or the parking lot. The continuous loop of pathways provided through the hallways to the courtyard and outside to the larger garden all purports individual liberty and prevents curbing their freedom by allowing free access to the outdoors. It also caters to safe and healthy wandering.