The largest care home in the Nordics brings generations together

One kilometer north of Uppsala city center you find the Kapellgärdet district. It is now the largest nursing home in the Nordic region and is also a place where several generations come together.

When Fastighetsförädlarna i Mälardalen AB (FFAB) was given the opportunity to build community properties, they did not hesitate. The desire to take a modern approach to urban planning, to be involved in establishing social functions, and to enable a combination of preschool, nursing home, and housing association was already there when Jacob Sandberg started the company a decade ago.

In December 2017, FFAB began one of its largest construction projects to date, Brf Block, which includes the Vård Norra and Vård Södra care home. In addition to the two nursing homes – which, with their 201 apartments, will be the largest in the Nordic region – Block also consists of 158 newly built apartments, garages, and a kindergarten with four departments. It is an environmentally classified block that stands out among the other new buildings in the area.

“Since we were involved as early as the design stage, we were able to highlight our wishes, remove the institutional aura and instead create a pleasant hotel feel”

– Zarko Ristic, construction project manager at Attendo.

Creating good living environments

– Our vision is to build houses that stand out, no matter where in Sweden we build, and to create architecture that harmonizes with the surrounding environment. This was one of the reasons why we chose to build the outer walls on-site in Uppsala using bricks fired in Denmark. – We see Brf Block with its beautiful bricks and all the masonry details as a way to pay tribute to the land and the area, as Uppsala is known for its many brickworks that were here in the past, says Jacob Sandberg.

After several months of planning together with, among others, Uppsala Municipality, architect Andreas Martin-Löf, Veidekke, and Rikshem, the long-term owner of the two nursing homes, construction began in the fall four years ago.

Fredrik Edlund is Rikshem’s regional manager for Mälardalen:

– To be given the question from FFAB of the opportunity to own community properties in a growing city like Uppsala was a long-awaited project. Kapellgärdet is a very exciting area where we feel we can contribute to creating good living environments for people.

A courtyard that brings generations together

To be able to follow the company’s vision of always creating added value for the residents and the best conditions for the community, FFAB has, among other things, built a courtyard that is shared by the housing association, preschool, and retirement home.

– In this type of construction, it is not self-evident that the healthcare company should be involved from the outset. But we really wanted the tenant Attendo to give its input already in the planning stage so that we together could realize a unique and functional nursing home, says Jacob Sandberg.

The construction of the two care buildings has also been a challenge from an operational perspective, due to the municipality’s requirements for the design of the detailed plan.

– Of course we wanted to ensure that the accommodation was as efficient as possible, but without skimping on details and surfaces that add a premium feel and comfort, says Zarko Ristic, construction project manager and project manager at Attendo.

Sport or culture? Two different housing concepts

The two care buildings have different concepts. Vård Norra, which was completed a year ago, has a sports and spa theme. The theme of Vård Södra is culture and entertainment. What both houses have in common, however, is a spacious glazed terrace with a breathtaking view of the whole city of Uppsala.

– Since we were involved as early as the design stage, we were able to highlight our wishes, remove the institutional aura and instead create a pleasant hotel feel It feels luxurious when you enter Attendo’s entrance with high ceilings, beautiful materials, and carefully selected colors, says Zarko Ristic.

There are offices and staff rooms on the tenth floor and a large laundry room in the basement. For the convenience of staff, there are also convenient laundry drop-off points on each floor, so the laundry goes straight to the basement and staff don’t have to go up and down. In the courtyard, there are social areas, a pergola with an adjacent boule court and barbecue area, as well as sound columns that play music and read stories to anyone who wants to be entertained.

– We truly believe that everyone benefits from each other and the shared courtyard. The largest care home in the Nordic region is more than just a home. In this block, we have brought together condominiums, a preschool, and a retirement home – different stages of life united in the same area,” says Jacob Sandberg.