WeCare focuses on responsible architecture that cultivates society.
WeCare architecture is a young international research and design office with a passion for projects that relate to societal issues. In the last few years we have built a diverse international portfolio working in the Netherlands, China, Singapore and Hungary on architectural design and research projects related to community, healthcare and sustainability. On this page you can find an introduction to the research topics that we are working on.
The physical healthcare environment can make a difference in how a patient recovers and the impact it has for his or her loved ones. A healing environment reduces the amount of stress caused by hospitalization and allows opportunity for release. A healing environment does not conflict with the process of cure but has the intention to improve the quality of care. Typical examples of principles are the reduction of stressors caused by a lack of privacy, noise or glare, to provide distraction by having a view, an internet connection and the opportunity for interaction. Having access to flora and fauna has shown to reduce stress and to be an opportunity for interaction. A healing environment creates a deinstitutionalized atmosphere where people feel at home.
A livable city is a city that supports individuals and communities. It is a fast network of healthy streets that connect to amenities and social support facilities. It has a working public transportation system and provides citizens with the opportunity to walk and cycle safely. Flora and fauna can be found in parks, along the street and in and around public buildings. Streets should work as an ecosystem, that can retain, run-off and filter rainwater. While standards inform good practices; places and districts should have their own character and designed with participation of local inhabitants.
Sensibility is a behaviour that grows from experiences of cause and effect; of failure and success. It allows to determine the impact of choices to you as an individual and to your community. To nurture sensibility; our environment should allow people to have physical experiences with each other and their environment. Public spaces should support and celebrate public involvement. Education should support physical activities and practices, so that children as well as adults have the chance to learn from their own experience.
Play is exploring your relation to the world and to others to find out how things affect and feel to you. While play can be done everywhere, some places have better conditions for it than others. Through our research and in our projects we try to find these conditions. We believe sensibility is something that cannot be taught but originates from play.
DEMENTIA FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT
The problem with dementia is that you start to encounter thresholds in your daily life that make parts of the world become difficult to approach. Being disrupted can be very physical; that you are not able to move as freely, orient yourself or talk adequately with your friends and family. But the disruption that is most difficult to deal with is how it impacts your train of thought, you end up forgetting what you are doing. In some surroundings it is easy to find clues that allow you to make sense of your position, but in other cases you will find yourself stranded.
At this moment there are at least 250.000 people with dementia in Hungary, but as the number of dementia cases correlate with the average life expectancy; it will greatly increase beyond this number.
As healthcare-architects with a background of the Netherlands and Singapore, two leading countries in dementia care, we are painfully aware of how neglected dementia is in Hungary. It could be that the investments these countries make towards dementia care is not realistic for Hungary, but as architects we know the impact designers could have with good practice alone, which merely requires attention. With research, design and communication we hope to reflect and inspire others to think about how we can make a better environment for people with dementia. This type of environment is a place that remains pleasant or offers support for persons with dementia; dementia friendly environments.
Natural light is an important ingredient for a healthy and pleasant environment. Daylighting means controlling the reflection scattering and admission of daylight. A correct application of daylighting principles allows spaces to function more often and better without the need for artificial lighting. It further promotes hygiene, provides privacy and protects the building from overheating and glare.
With the increasing stress on our planet, photovoltaics are the ideal solution for an individual to reduce their energy-consumption. In light of new subsidies it has also become a lucrative investment. As architects we view this as an important opportunity that we would like to support. Building integrated solar technology requires the designer to understand the possible systems, technologies and their requirements and benefits.
Every part of the world has its own climate; highly affected by its position in relation to the sun. This relation is based on cycles; that of the day and of the year. The principles of bioclimatic design shows how to build for a specific climate so as to find the perfect balance for the seasons and the time of the day. This way of thinking often continues on regional building traditions that were often really efficient at supporting a pleasant environment. Bioclimatic design is based on the vision of Hungarian architect Victor Olgyay that modern buildings could offer more comfort by thinking about their regional climate.
That climate change, which is leading to horrifying effects on the planet, is the result of CO2 emissions has been recognized by 97% of the scientific community. The current practices of the building industry does not reflect the impact that this will have on our way of living. While profit is important for the health of a company, the health of the people and the planet is at risk. Utilizing a budget with purpose can support a change for the better. Recycled, upcycled and materials that store CO2 are the future of the building industry.