No Exit: Dementia Village Dwellers Live in Alternate Reality

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

dimentia second story view

It sounds like the dystopian plot of Dark City or The Truman Show, with free-seeming residents unaware they are actually inhabitants of a closed community they cannot leave and  in which under constant surveillance … but that is only one side of the story.

dimensia overall site planning

dimentia public outdoor space

A total of 150 Alzheimer’s sufferers live in Hogewey, this gated community unlike any other. Located in the Netherlands, it boasts open copious walking paths and green spaces, a grocery shop, hair salon and dozens of stores and clubs.

dimentia village resident grocery

The friendly grocers and stylists are, however, all employees of the facility (caregivers, doctors and nurses), and if someone approaches the single exit to the outside world they are politely told to perhaps try another door as this one is closed.

dimentia interior focused plan

dimentiaville ramps parks paths

If this sounds like a terrible situation, consider this: patients can roam much more freely than in many elder car facilities. Patients here require fewer medications, eat better and live longer. Still, it raises philosophical questions that are difficult to answer about the relative value of knowledge and happiness, for instance.

village exterior facade view

themed patient room interiors

Dormitory-style rooms are situated around the exterior of the campus, allowing views out, but building exits all face inward. Each residence structure has a “lifestyle theme” associated with it, designed to make people feel it home, surrounded by appropriate religious symbols for some, music and art for others.

dimentia city architecture model

CNN’s Dr. Gupta traveled to Weesp, the village in which the facility is set, and interviewed caregivers in this extensive twenty-three-minute segment on its purpose and workings. Some people question the ethics of the inherent deception, but if the residents feel at home, it is hard to say what a better alternative might be than this seemingly-ordinary everyday reality.


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No Life Support: 10 Abandoned Ambulance & EMS Stations

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

closed condemned abandoned ambulance EMS stations
Silence the sirens and be careful out there… these abandoned, closed and condemned ambulance & EMS stations no longer respond to medical emergencies.

Condemned In California

condemned AMR ambulance substation Tracy CA(images via: Tracy Press, Glenn Moore)

The condemned former American Medical Response substation at at 455 Beverly Place in Tracy looks pretty good for an abandoned building. Then again, these photos from the November 29th, 2013 edition of the Tracy Press were taken less than a week after the doors slammed shut. Supposedly, the station was condemned due to the presence of a large tree on the property that might fall over in a gale. It’s worth noting that the station’s owner condemned the building; city inspectors found no serious structural damage and thus no justification for closing it.

condemned ambulance substation Tracy CA (images via: Tracy Press, Glenn Moore and Tracy Press, Glenn Moore)

Ahh, the eternal struggle between wanting your local EMS station to be as close as possible and wanting your local EMS station to be as QUIET as possible. Sorry friends, never the twain shall meet. The eardrum conundrum evidently proved too frustrating for one resident who in 2010 declared (in a drunken, late-night tirade in front of Tracy City Council) that having an ambulance station near his home has turned his life into “13 years of hell.” He must be in heaven now.

But Socialism!

closed abandoned ambulance station Wiltshire England(image via: Number Of The Month)

The UK’s NHS (National Health Service) has been praised and vilified to the extreme – often by the same people depending on whether they need its services or have just read the latest tale of wasted taxpayer’s money. Tongues are wagging once again due to the NHS’s (supposed) money-saving plans to close dozens of ambulance stations across the UK and consolidate their functions at larger “hub” stations. The plan may indeed save money but anyone and everyone will end up waiting longer for an ambulance as a result. Thanks, Obama!

Ghostbusters Of OZ

old Queensland ambulance service station(images via: The Queensland Times, Claudia Baxter and The Ipswich Advertiser)

If the original Ghostbusters drove a modified ambulance and had their HQ in an old firehouse, one would assume their Australian counterparts (being “down under”) would park their customized firetruck in an old ambulance station. Good thing, as the old Queensland Ambulance Service station complex on Downs Street in North Ipswich is said to be haunted by the ghost of WC Tomkins. The former station superintendent lived upstairs at the station and passed away in his bed one night in 1934… and, some say, he’s still there.

old Queensland ambulance station haunted Sims(image via: The Queensland Times, David Nielsen)

“This ghost has never hurt anyone and I don’t think he would,” states renowned hauntings historian Jack Sim (above). “He founded the ambulance in Ipswich and he is a nice bloke.” Perhaps the station’s supposed supernatural aura helped keep it on the auction block for the better part of six years. All good things must come to an end, however, and Beetlejuice himself couldn’t stop the station from finally being sold in March of 2013 for a cool one million smackers.

Chairman Of The Boarded Up

Hull old boarded-up ambulance station(images via: Hull and Hereabouts)

Since the old ambulance station on Osborne Street in Hull, England closed, the only emergencies occurring at the site concern Phil Jude’s 24-hour Emergency Boarding Up Service… or so the sign above states. Take it from Phil, they’re “probably the cheapest in the area.”

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Put To Sleep: 12 Sad Abandoned Pet Shops & Vet Clinics

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned veterinary clinic
Put away the cat-carrier and make your own Cone of Shame; these abandoned veterinary clinics and shuttered pet shops are closed fur good.

Jersey Snore

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic Lakewood NJ abandoned(images via: Lost Destinations)

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic in Lakewood, New Jersey is a pretty grim place, even for New Jersey, though one would have to agree things are looking up now that the pet clinic has closed and the animals have gone. Whispered rumors of poor care by clinic managers and unconfirmed anecdotes of euthanized animal carcasses found in the clinic’s dumpsters dogged (sorry) the facility for years.

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic Lakewood NJ abandoned(images via: Lost Destinations)

The labyrinth of claustrophobic chain link cages in the back supports long-running allegations the clinic had contracted with local animal control departments to “warehouse” stray dogs and cats, most of which never escaped a presumably grim fate. “There is a heavy, doomed feeling within these cages;” reports urban explorer “Shady” from Lost Destinations, “even the very trees seems to forbid entrance as they stretch their thorny limbs across the entry gate.” Scarier than Snooki!

Roo The Day

Small Animal Clinic UQ Brisbane closed(image via: ABC News)

Time’s up for the Small Animal Clinic at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus, which has closed after serving area pet-owners for over half a century. While the decision to shut down the St Lucia clinic and transfer its staff and functions to the newer, larger Gratton clinic may be sound financially, Brisbane residents who brought roughly 9,000 small pets to the red brick building annually are, er, hopping mad.

The Doctor Is OUT

Lake Veterinary Hospital Oakland sign(images via: Beth Budwig and KGO-TV)

The Lake Veterinary Hospital in Oakland had been patching up pets for the better part of 40 years when suddenly, without any warning, it shut its doors. The owner was nowhere to be found, leaving pet-owners not only at a loss but facing the prospect of their pets’ medical records being lost as well. Thanks to Michael Finney of KGO-TV’s “7 On Your Side”, however, the story has a happy ending: the vet was located and clients were assured their pets’ records are safe and will be sent to them. No telling what lies in store for the clinic and its awesome retro sign, though.

Denver Broken

closed Capitol Hill Animal Care Center Denver(images via: 1031 Net Lease and JustDial)

The former Capitol Hill Animal Care Center only closed recently but it still exudes an ominous “Frankenstein’s Castle” vibe all too commonly found with abandoned, closed and disused businesses. Located in Denver, Colorado, the clinic evidently wasn’t a hit with owners of dogs, cats, birds and (wait for it)… broncos.

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Put To Sleep: 12 Sad Abandoned Pet Shops & Vet Clinics

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned veterinary clinic
Put away the cat-carrier and make your own Cone of Shame; these abandoned veterinary clinics and shuttered pet shops are closed fur good.

Jersey Snore

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic Lakewood NJ abandoned(images via: Lost Destinations)

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic in Lakewood, New Jersey is a pretty grim place, even for New Jersey, though one would have to agree things are looking up now that the pet clinic has closed and the animals have gone. Whispered rumors of poor care by clinic managers and unconfirmed anecdotes of euthanized animal carcasses found in the clinic’s dumpsters dogged (sorry) the facility for years.

Ocean County Veterinary Clinic Lakewood NJ abandoned(images via: Lost Destinations)

The labyrinth of claustrophobic chain link cages in the back supports long-running allegations the clinic had contracted with local animal control departments to “warehouse” stray dogs and cats, most of which never escaped a presumably grim fate. “There is a heavy, doomed feeling within these cages;” reports urban explorer “Shady” from Lost Destinations, “even the very trees seems to forbid entrance as they stretch their thorny limbs across the entry gate.” Scarier than Snooki!

Roo The Day

Small Animal Clinic UQ Brisbane closed(image via: ABC News)

Time’s up for the Small Animal Clinic at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus, which has closed after serving area pet-owners for over half a century. While the decision to shut down the St Lucia clinic and transfer its staff and functions to the newer, larger Gratton clinic may be sound financially, Brisbane residents who brought roughly 9,000 small pets to the red brick building annually are, er, hopping mad.

The Doctor Is OUT

Lake Veterinary Hospital Oakland sign(images via: Beth Budwig and KGO-TV)

The Lake Veterinary Hospital in Oakland had been patching up pets for the better part of 40 years when suddenly, without any warning, it shut its doors. The owner was nowhere to be found, leaving pet-owners not only at a loss but facing the prospect of their pets’ medical records being lost as well. Thanks to Michael Finney of KGO-TV’s “7 On Your Side”, however, the story has a happy ending: the vet was located and clients were assured their pets’ records are safe and will be sent to them. No telling what lies in store for the clinic and its awesome retro sign, though.

Denver Broken

closed Capitol Hill Animal Care Center Denver(images via: 1031 Net Lease and JustDial)

The former Capitol Hill Animal Care Center only closed recently but it still exudes an ominous “Frankenstein’s Castle” vibe all too commonly found with abandoned, closed and disused businesses. Located in Denver, Colorado, the clinic evidently wasn’t a hit with owners of dogs, cats, birds and (wait for it)… broncos.

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Abandoned Asylums in Focus: Photos by Jeremy Harris

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[ By Steph in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

Abandoned Asylum Photos 1

It’s not just the morbid and macabre horror movie ambiance of abandoned psychiatric facilities that makes them so haunting and fascinating; it’s the shadows of the people who often lived their entire lives there. Toothbrushes hanging on hooks, bedding still wadded on cots, wheelchairs and patient records are stark reminders of the humanity that once existed between these walls. Photographer Jeremy Harris has documented many of the structures still standing in a series called ‘Abandoned American Asylums: The Moral Architecture of the Nineteenth Century.’

Abandoned Asylum Photos 2

Abandoned Asylum Photos 4

Harris has been sneaking into abandoned asylums since 2005 to take his photos. The series includes just about everything you’d expect: peeling paint, foreboding hallways and a whole lot of rusting metal. But there are also faded murals, grand theaters and bowling alleys.

Abandoned Asylum Photos 3

In the 19th century, a large number of people – whether seriously mentally ill or not – were institutionalized against their will, often left in hospitals their entire lives without visits from family. At the time, mental illness was often thought of as a moral or spiritual failing. Circumstances improved by the 20th century, in most facilities.

Abandoned Asylum Photos 5

Mother Jones produced a video about the photo project. You can also read more about early psychiatric hospitals and asylums at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and see the rest of the photos at Jeremy Harris’ website.

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Preservation Puzzle: Extreme Ideas to Save an Urban Facade

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

historic preservation prentice ideas

The Prentice Women’s Hospital building at Northwestern University has some serious fans, including a range of architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, who would like to see it preserved. The open question: is the exterior of sufficient historical value to keep, even if it means building up through, above and/or around it?

historic new tower solution

While a wonder of structural engineering with an iconic shape, the structure simply is not practical or fit-to-purpose anymore. One daring proposal from Studio Gang Architects (illustration by Jay Hoffman) involves adding dozens of upper stories, and nearly a million square feet, while leaving the shell of the original intact.

historic mirrored facade idea

A scheme by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta won a competition to suggest alternatives with another approach – one that allows half of the building to be absorbed by a new structure, while reflecting the other half – using a mirror-image effect to preserve the complete appearance via a rather ingenious and nuanced illusion.

historic original humorous proposals

Critics exist on both sides. Some say this proposal strips away so much of the building and its context that what is left is really metaphorically (not just literally) a shell. Others suggest that any solution bends too far toward impracticality to accommodate an arguably unattractive building (many consider it an eyesore). Humorists like LunchBreath have weighed in as well, as seen above.

historic preservation proposal rendering

Meanwhile, the university itself does not seem interested in considering preservation options, so these concepts, while compelling, could well be moot in the end. Still, the High Line in New York is a great example of how enough public pressure and celebrity support can change the minds of an entire city, and perhaps a private institution as well.

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Preservation Puzzle: Extreme Ideas to Save an Urban Facade

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

historic preservation prentice ideas

The Prentice Women’s Hospital building at Northwestern University has some serious fans, including a range of architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, who would like to see it preserved. The open question: is the exterior of sufficient historical value to keep, even if it means building up through, above and/or around it?

historic new tower solution

While a wonder of structural engineering with an iconic shape, the structure simply is not practical or fit-to-purpose anymore. One daring proposal from Studio Gang Architects (illustration by Jay Hoffman) involves adding dozens of upper stories, and nearly a million square feet, while leaving the shell of the original intact.

historic mirrored facade idea

A scheme by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta won a competition to suggest alternatives with another approach – one that allows half of the building to be absorbed by a new structure, while reflecting the other half – using a mirror-image effect to preserve the complete appearance via a rather ingenious and nuanced illusion.

historic original humorous proposals

Critics exist on both sides. Some say this proposal strips away so much of the building and its context that what is left is really metaphorically (not just literally) a shell. Others suggest that any solution bends too far toward impracticality to accommodate an arguably unattractive building (many consider it an eyesore). Humorists like LunchBreath have weighed in as well, as seen above.

historic preservation proposal rendering

Meanwhile, the university itself does not seem interested in considering preservation options, so these concepts, while compelling, could well be moot in the end. Still, the High Line in New York is a great example of how enough public pressure and celebrity support can change the minds of an entire city, and perhaps a private institution as well.


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Preservation Puzzle: Extreme Ideas to Save an Urban Facade

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

historic preservation prentice ideas

The Prentice Women’s Hospital building at Northwestern University has some serious fans, including a range of architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, who would like to see it preserved. The open question: is the exterior of sufficient historical value to keep, even if it means building up through, above and/or around it?

historic new tower solution

While a wonder of structural engineering with an iconic shape, the structure simply is not practical or fit-to-purpose anymore. One daring proposal from Studio Gang Architects (illustration by Jay Hoffman) involves adding dozens of upper stories, and nearly a million square feet, while leaving the shell of the original intact.

historic mirrored facade idea

A scheme by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta won a competition to suggest alternatives with another approach – one that allows half of the building to be absorbed by a new structure, while reflecting the other half – using a mirror-image effect to preserve the complete appearance via a rather ingenious and nuanced illusion.

historic original humorous proposals

Critics exist on both sides. Some say this proposal strips away so much of the building and its context that what is left is really metaphorically (not just literally) a shell. Others suggest that any solution bends too far toward impracticality to accommodate an arguably unattractive building (many consider it an eyesore). Humorists like LunchBreath have weighed in as well, as seen above.

historic preservation proposal rendering

Meanwhile, the university itself does not seem interested in considering preservation options, so these concepts, while compelling, could well be moot in the end. Still, the High Line in New York is a great example of how enough public pressure and celebrity support can change the minds of an entire city, and perhaps a private institution as well.

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