Gerben Stolk on Midden-Inn residential care facility

The design perfectly matches our ambitions and creates a community feeling: a ‘living room’ for Heerjansdam

A lively meeting point at the heart of the village, for residents and people from the surroundings.

That’s exactly what Heerjansdam Housing Association had in mind with Midden-Inn, a sustainable residential centre with 36 affordable and spacious rental apartments. The integration of home automation means that people in need of a limited amount of care can remain living on their own for as long as possible. Chairman Gerben Stolk discusses the community feeling and how participation, trust and expertise have ensured that the building has already more than met expectations.


Midden-Inn improves the quality of life

“Heerjansdam really needed a residential care centre because many locals in need of care were forced to leave the village. With the residential centre we wanted not only to provide care but also to strengthen cohesion among villagers and get people out from behind their front doors. We achieved that pretty well, because Midden-Inn really has enhanced the quality of life in the village. In addition to comfortable living conditions and care at a distance, the centre facilitates all sorts of activities. And that appears to work: residents and local villagers increasingly frequent the centre for fitness, billiards, films, or a bite to eat in the brasserie. So the building essentially does what it had to do: attract people.”


Not a long list of requirements, but freedom and trust

“We do not claim to be architectural experts, but we do of course have ideas about what a village needs. We gave EGM a number of key words, such as encounters, appearance, affordability, safety, quality and sustainability. So we didn’t come with a long list of requirements but gave EGM a free hand. That was something of a risk. We had to give them confidence, and they had to listen carefully and translate our story into a design. And they’ve succeeded admirably, because on the strength of those few words EGM designed a building that reflects our ambitions for the village and a sense of community.”

EGM listened very carefully. On the strength of a few key words they produced a design that reflects our ambitions for the village and the sense of community


We had no experience with care

“As a housing association, we know a lot about housing, but a residential building with a care element was totally new to us. Nor did we have much experience with sustainability, energy conservation or home automation. That’s also why it was so enjoyable to work with EGM. Not only are they experts in the field of health care, but they also know a lot about those other areas. That expertise was apparent time and again throughout the process. EGM consists of professionals who know what they’re talking about, and that gave us plenty of confidence.” 


The collaboration was perfect

“The collaboration with all parties involved was perfect, thanks to the leading role played by EGM, who oversaw everything. They were proactive, came up with ideas, and gave all the right input when we had to make decisions. And they did more besides. We received additional support and guidance — organizing information evenings, drawing up rental contracts, applying for permits and subsidies and advising our residents about home automation. EGM arranged all that for us. The result is impressive. We’re delighted, and so too are our residents. They can find their way around easily, which is the most important thing. You can come up with all sorts of wonderful things, but if the people don’t take to it, you haven’t achieved anything.”

We had no experience whatsoever with care buildings. That’s why we received additional support and guidance. That was a great help to us and our residents. Everybody is really satisfied


The residential centre feels like a hotel

“One of our wishes what that the residential centre should not feel like a nursing home. EGM granted us our wish, because Midden-Inn has the luxury feel of a hotel. It’s a fresh and modern building, bright and spacious. Moreover, the centre is sustainable and energy efficient. The first feedback on energy consumption is fantastic. The building turns out to be much more efficient than we imagined it would be, and is practically self-sufficient. A fantastic achievement, which means we can continue to invest in sustainability."

The building turns out to be much more efficient than we imagined it would be, and is practically self-sufficient


In the middle of the village and community

“We certainly didn’t want to hide the residents away in some far corner on the edge of town, gazing out over fields where nothing happens. Thanks to EGM, Midden-Inn has become what we hoped it would: a meeting point and living room for Heerjansdam.”


Project: Midden-Inn