地域密着型 特別養護老人ホーム クレールエステート悠楽 Community-based Special elderly nursing home

Mabi-cho, located in the northwestern part of Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, is associated with "Kibi Mabi," a great man of the Nara Period, and is also known as the town where writer Yokomizo Masashi created the famous detective "Kindaichi Kosuke. Claire Estate Yuraku, a community-based special nursing home for the elderly, was established in this land blessed with a mild climate and rich nature and culture.

Claire" means "clair" in French, and "estate" has a wide range of meanings. Estate" has many meanings, one of which is "residence. Our goal was to create a "brightness" that would breathe new life into the common image of these facilities. Our definition of a "bright mansion" is not limited to its appearance, but also emphasizes the "comfort" it brings to the people who spend time there. We designed the building to express "the brightness that comes to people's hearts" in the realm of architecture.

The building is a spacious one-story structure that makes effective use of the 7,300 m2 site. Trees rich in natural forms are arranged on the site to create the atmosphere of living in a grove of trees. At the same time, the shape of the building is not a simple rectangular plan, but rather a shape that surrounds the courtyards located throughout the building and gives the impression of a detour through the building. At first glance, it appears to be a complex circuit, but the spacious corridors provide a convenient means of movement, and this shape gently divides each community. It is a division, not a disjunction, and this does not mean that the visual is completely covered by walls or hierarchy. The courtyard is cushioned by a glass wall, and the openness of the courtyard is created by the openness of the view. The sky beyond the high-sided windows and the greenery of tall trees swaying in the wind combine to create a visual continuity of trees from most locations within the building. This composition is intended to create a sense of "comfort" for the elderly who use the facility, as well as for the people who work here. While considering the efficiency of the work flow, we wanted to provide a space where people can "take a deep breath from time to time" in between their diverse and busy work.

Concrete construction was chosen for the building to ensure durability. The roofs of the communal living rooms are made of wood to give a soft impression in spite of the robust structure. In addition, large-section laminated wood was used to achieve long spans. Wooden beams are shown to soften the impression of hardness, and cedar plate formwork is used for the concrete to give it a special texture. The flooring is solid wood with an oil finish. The flooring is linked to the plantings on the site to minimize the feeling of oppression in the interior. We wanted to use real wood as much as possible in the places where people can relax. It is said that the use of natural materials in places that touch the body and the sense of sight brings stability to the human mind. The wood is easy on the skin, and its tactile qualities gently affect all five of the human senses. In addition, the use of high-sided windows is effective in improving the living environment because it ensures sufficient lighting and air flow, as well as a spacious visual effect, as mentioned above.

The planting mentioned earlier is a very important element of this building. The surrounding landscape is a gentle mountain ridge beyond tranquil fields. The selection and arrangement of the trees create a "gentle forest" that blends in with the landscape. The approach to the house is connected by a green gate that catches the sunlight and rustles in the wind, and the rhythm is created by the difference in height of the trees. The balance between deciduous trees and evergreens is carefully considered, creating a composition that allows the residents to fully appreciate the four seasons. The privacy of each room is protected by soft blindfolds created by the trees and sloping lawn.

The abundant use of trees from the mountains was chosen because we wanted to reproduce the natural landscape - to express "the meaning at its root. Various species of trees coexist in the forest. Some trees strongly desire sunlight, others prefer shade, and still others display their brilliant foliage colors beside the tall trees that fall in the depths of autumn. We believe that a forest is composed of a collection of species that accept each other's life without difficulty. People from all walks of life gather at this facility. Because it is a community-based facility, the age of visitors is not limited to the elderly. In general, the place will be supported by people of all ages, including the staff who spend time here on a daily basis. We hope that this place will be a place where people's thoughts and feelings can be as close together as the trees in a forest. We have also placed plants that are familiar to the Japanese landscape from long ago, so that people can return to their childhood memories. We hope that people who spend time together will reminisce about old memories. We wanted to create a "garden that lives with people," where the light spilling through the leaves, the shadows on the walls, and the sound of the leaves touching each other enrich people's hearts and minds. Therefore, it was necessary to carefully consider the "comfort" that would be created when the balance between the building and the plantings was achieved.

The significance of this architecture - the most important point - is to "provide a rich time" for the elderly people who use the building. The modern society, which is filled with material goods that we take for granted, has been nurtured by the hands of these people. We have approached this architecture with deep respect for these people.
We hope that this place will be loved by many people for a long time to come.


  • Completion 2014.04
  • Building site Kurashiki, Okayama
  • Principal use intensive-care old people's home
  • Structure W/RC, one-story building
  • Floor area 2535.5㎡
  • Photo Takahiro Shimokawa


  • 2016 第12回倉敷市建築文化賞 一般建築物部門優秀賞 受賞