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Design Leadership Prize:
Focus Ageing Society


Begegnungszentrum Chileweg Rain

Team Design:

Cometti Truffer Architects SA with Angelika Walthert Lucerne and Landscape architect Fahrni Lucerne, Norbert Truffer, Manuela Obermair, Angelika Walthert, Christoph Fahrni

Team Client:

Community of Rain: Oskar Berli, Markus Wyss, Judith Galliker, Helen Aregger, Harry Emmenegger,
Walter Sidler

Team User:

Cooperative care residential group of Rain:
Lisbeth Schürmann-Schaller, Anita Mainetti

Team Contractor:

Alfred Müller General Contractor Zug: Beat Stocker, Patrick Steinmann, Ueli Buchmann

The trigger for planning the Chileweg centre in Rain Canton of Lucerne was the need to create somewhere offering support and care to the elderly. Previously the residents of the village had been forced to leave not only their homes but also the village when they required care. A residential centre and meeting place was therefore to be established in a central location next to the village church. Three new buildings with high specifications were built here in line with plans by Cometti Truffer Architects with a total of 17 barrier-free and wheelchair-accessible rental apartments. At the same time a public space was created on part of the plot. The core of the complex is formed by the “House of Encounter” located directly next to this space in which a cooperative is additionally building care apartments for 18 people. In addition to long-term care places short-term and day-care spaces are also offered here. An atrium in the centre of the building which serves almost as a semi-public living space at the care establishment also belongs to the inclusive basic concept of the Chileweg centre together with a café-bistro bakery branch and village shop which will bring life to the new building complex and integrate it into the everyday life of the village. The square has quickly established itself as the new village centre.

Comments of the nominators

The Chileweg centre project addresses two of the municipalities problems simultaneously: a social one – the lack of care services for the inhabitants of the village – and a town planning one – the lack of a public village square. The new building complex which was consciously designed for cross-generational living successfully solves both problems convincingly.

Comments of the jury

The new Chileweg centre in Rain is impressive and pleases on several levels. First of all the municipality’s courage should be applauded, which involved considerable advance funding in order to achieve a project that serves the wellbeing of the community. The choice of plot is also fortunate: Instead of placing a care home discreetly on the outskirts of the village, as is so often the case, it has been brought into the middle of the village and this sets an example: We do not want to push away our citizens that require care, but rather integrate them into the everyday life of the village. The high design quality of the Chileweg centre from a town planning, architectural and interior design perspective as well as the affordable price structure support the basic concept of the project with its focus on inclusion as far as possible. The new space solves a town planning problem that afflicts many suburban municipalities: there is a lack of a meeting place to a sufficiently high standard where people would like to spend time. In Rain there is now such a place, which was created with basic resources: a few trees, benches and a fountain. This is how simple it can be.