Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Scroll to explore Long may we live!

Designs for housing for the elderly are a tool for researching alternative forms of community and care. This presentation shows that the search for new models is nothing new, but has a rich history. During the course of the twentieth century, charitable organisations, local governments, care institutions, designers and the elderly themselves have pondered the question of housing for the elderly, employing a range of expertise.

In the spring of 2015 architecture-history and art-history students from the VU University in Amsterdam conducted research in the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut into the development of housing for the elderly in the Netherlands. The archive contains a cross section of designs from the past hundred years. The variety of material shows that housing for the elderly is strongly linked to political and emancipatory processes. Read more


Further reading

  • E. Feddersen and I. Lüdtke, Living for the Elderly: A Design Manual, Birkhäuser, Basel, 2009
  • N. Mens, C. Wagenaar, De architectuur van de ouderenhuisvesting Bouwen voor wonen en zorg, Rotterdam, NAi Uitgevers, 2009
  • D. Simpson, Young-Old Urban Utopias of an Aging Society, Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2015
  • E. Smit and M. Walda, ‘Het vraagstuk van de huisvesting der bejaarden’, in Wonen zonder zorg(en)? Van zorg met verblijf naar wonen met of zonder zorg. Veldacademie, Rotterdam, 2016

Consult the archive

Members of the public can consult Het Nieuwe Instituut’s collection in the  Study Centre van Het Nieuwe Instituut and via the Search portal


This presentation stems from archival research into housing for the elderly conducted by art-history and architecture-history students from the VU University in Amsterdam in 2015 as part of the ‘Design and Discourse’ course, led by Minke Walda and Ellen Smit.

With thanks to Romy Bosch, Veerle Driessen, Berber Hoftijzer, Lieske Huits, Dominique Jurgen, Sarah Knigge, Olga Kruisbrink, Roos van Strien, Maaike Taekema, Vincent Visser, Jorne Vriens, Els van Zeggeren and Joanne Zwart. Annelies Wester, also a student at the VU University, turned the results of their research into the material presented here. Architect Evelien van Veen (Van Veen Architecten) has provided a reflection upon the selection of projects.