#10 FRAGMENTS OF MEMORIES
Fragments of memories is my master thesis.It's the project that perhaps most expresses my empathy in such an affectionate and unselfish way towards the guests of this architecture.
It is a center for Alzheimer's patients.
The choice to design an Alzheimer's center in Matera was totally mine because, along with the cancer center, Alzheimer's was a disease that unfortunately has threatened among the people closest to me.
Alzheimer's is complicated, it changes you, it makes you an unreasonable child and then you regress and have the same motor and expressive ability as a fetus.A little Benjamin Button.
If I were to summarize what I've been studying for months on Alzheimer's, a whole day wouldn't be enough.
There is no cure, we must learn to live with it and try to understand the needs of those who are affected.
Dealing with an Alzheimer's patient is like holding a fragile object to handle with care.
The most unpredictable thing can trigger attacks of anger, crying crisis, all assisted with a strong instinct to escape.
My project is placed in an area on the edge of Matera also fragile and abandoned in time, left to die, when once it was supposed to be the neighborhood rebirth.
Fundamental to this project was to create the illusion of being at home.When an elder is uprooted from his own places, he must be treated with care, whether he is sick or not.
The prerogative was therefore to create a comfortable environment, which would allow you to continue to perform "normal" activities but in a safe and controlled place.
"Fragments of memories" is a kind of village with an internal square with different services, with areas of art therapy, places where you can continue to do laundry individually as at home, the possibility of buying a magazine, to go to the hairdresser and the presence of a garden designed to satisfy their desire for wandering that would allow them to return to the starting point, after their wandering. Thanks to the study of plants and flowers, the sensory journey is made fragrant and colorful to stimulate the senses.
The stimulation of the senses in the patient is fundamental to allow the slowing down of the disease (since you can only talk about slowing down and not healing), so I thought an area for snozelen, that is multisensory areas that resume the shape of the mother's uterus, that through particular colors and sounds, help to calm the elderly.
In this project I put aside the desire to venture and I became a bit 'mother of all the elderly who suffer from this disease, I let the needs come first of all.
When you approach architectures of this type, something changes in the very conception you have of the profession.You get a greater awareness of what the architect can really do, and how great can be the help of a well-designed Alzheimer's center.
Because architecture has been called a "non-pharmacological cure" to combat this monster.
And I'm proud to be able to contribute.