VAN AKEN have succeeded in creating a sheltered living environment for a very vulnerable and impressionable group of people (Sterk Gedragsgestoorde Licht Verstandelijk Gehandicapten - SGLVG). The 42 living-units and the associated day care building have been grouped together as a village, in clusters of 6. They are grouped together around the green Brink, where the building in which the daily activities take place works as a large recognisable barn keeping the outside world at a distance.
The clients require very specific and intense guidance in all social activities due to their serious and permanent behavioural difficulties. This is reflected in the needs of the location. VAN AKEN developed a pioneering concept so that each resident has his or her own house, with a living-room and kitchen facilities.
As the clients are dependent upon round the clock care, houses are clustered in groups of six. This clustering takes the form of a covered mini street. A seventh house provides a meeting-place, a common area. This house performs different functions and allows the degree of care requirement to be individually set.
A special aspect of this concept is that the residents have a choice as to how much they participate in the common activities. They can safely remain in their own house, venture into the protected street, make contact with other residents or carers in the living-room or really go into the outside world.