Who said that convalescent and care buildings for the older generation must be grey, standardised and boring? Answer: Most likely no one. Nonetheless, there are many such constructions in Norway. Precisely why Luranetunet in Os Municipality has garnered so much attention. Broadly speaking, a supervised residential and convalescent centre that in many ways is how we usually think of them – but it offers something more: Situated at 60 degrees north, twenty or so kilometres south of Bergen, a tropical garden has been built as an integrated component of the centre. 1300 square metres of covered garden, filled with tropical plants, a fish pond and “Bamboo Bar”.
“When we celebrated the opening in wintry November, we numbered 120 sat at the tables, but the lighting and garden surrounding us created such an atmosphere that we could be forgiven for thinking we were instead sitting in sunny Southern Europe.” Aud Winsents, Unit Manager at Luranetunet, speaks fondly of the unique garden in her charge.
“The garden’s very popular. It’s become like an in-house venue for us, where we hold numerous leisure activities, such as singing, drawing courses, afternoon tea, movie evenings. We have taken these activities out of rooms into the open, tropical surroundings. We also have a koi fish pond. We built the “Bamboo Bar”, where we serve cordial/juice and water, and have evening functions where beer and wine are also an option,” says Winsents.
In total, Luranetunet has 155 residents living in nine different divisions, a tenth will be completed in 2019, which will increase the number of places to 175. The centre offers both nursing care places and residential apartments with 24-hour supervision, and the garden enables the elderly to venture “outside” all year round. A common room, so to speak, for both users and family members. A number of benches have been placed conveniently, and the garden can also be enjoyed from a gallery on the second floor.
1400 plants, divided into 35-50 different species, are the source for creating the luxuriant atmosphere. A vital component that enables the plants to thrive and grow, is the lighting. Glamox has supplied luminaires for the entire centre, no less than 1500 in total; of which a wide assortment are installed in the garden. Here are bollard lights, park luminaires, and underwater lighting in the koi pond. Of particular interest are the floodlights with so-called RGB technology (Red-Green-Blue). Red LED light specifically ensures better plant growth.
“The lighting is toned down in the evening and at night, and we are delighted with the solutions that were selected. There has been no negative feedback, in fact, quite the opposite,” says Unit Manager Aud Winsents.
More alert and energetic with Human Centric Lighting
All rooms at Luratunet, the construction of which was completed in the autumn of 2017, have been fitted with modern LED luminaires. One section has also been fitted with the so-called HCL solution (Human Centric Lighting). This is a lighting solution that imitates daylight in intensity and colour temperature, which can also affect us humans, biologically. HCL can provide positive effects to our mood, quality of sleep, wellbeing and job performance.
“We haven’t undertaken any scientific research, but the reports so far from staff working there, are that they have noticed a significant difference. They feel they are more alert and have more energy, mentioning there is a better atmosphere. They often use the areas as a pleasure walk for the joy of the experience,” says Aud Winsents.
Open to all
“This isn’t primarily an institution, it’s first and foremost a home”, Tor Inge Døsen told the local newspaper when the tropical garden was officially opened in November 2017. Døsen is a former project manager at Os Municipality, who took the initiative to build the distinctive garden. All who want to visit are welcome, as both the municipality and Luranetunet are eager for the garden to be a vibrant place where people can meet at their leisure. Luranetunet’s older residents are also able to have ‘get-togethers’ here, such as birthday celebrations and similar with family and friends in “Diamanten”, (“the Diamond”), a popular meeting place in our very own tropical garden.
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