Children’s Aid Society Melrose Village
A Home within the Village
Whenever you look at children’s drawings, at all ages we recognise and use the rectangular pitched-roof building with a little window or chimney as a symbol for “home”. It is the visual essence of the functions it contains – both literally and emotionally. The design for the new children’s home takes the familiar basic shapes of a “Home” as its natural starting point instead of an institution, aspiring to be a place that promotes warmth and familiarity. Outwardly, the form consisting of a cluster of pitched-roof houses, sprawling comfortably over the terrains of the site. The visual impression of a village is created by settling smaller building entities across the site and as you gaze from a distance a silhouette can be discerned; one that portrays itself as a representation of a child’s masterpiece.
The design places great emphasis on spatial qualities of a “Village”, embodying the essence of community along with its relation to the human scale. The overall planning consists of interconnected houses with its own courtyards. The building scale is deliberately reduced and self-contained, varied units are created for the different groups of residents. Each age group has its own house in connection with a central space for community engagements. Instead of an institution, the layout aims at providing the residents with a sense of belonging to their unit – a homely base where they can retreat alone or in smaller groups.