The Municipality of Örebro in Sweden is building a new senior care and nursing home in Bettorp district. The new facility will count with 80 places for elderly people in need. And while this is commendable piece of news, the focus of this story is on how Orebro authorities have decided to make each construction project more wholesome and inclusive.
Ever since 1968 there has been a standard practice to set aside 1% of construction project expenditures for the work of artists who then put the final touches on a building and, in a sense, give it its essence.
Design is what gives human creations their distinct flavour and personality
The task of finding the right artists for a job is handed out to the Örebro Art Gallery. According to the municipal website there are continuous projects running in the city where artists are hired to work on the design of newly built premises and installations.
In that way, much thought goes into urban development. The area of Bettorp has recently been developed as a residential district, however, there is history behind it. It used to be an industrial park and partially recreational area that had largely overgrown with foliage. And before that, well there are still hundreds of years of history of habitation.
The job of the artists is to capture the unique layers that have comprised a place and given it its individuality. The involvement of the local Art Gallery is to show that art and culture are important and fundamental to the collective spirit and wellbeing of a community.
Art and design, it is believed, can also contribute positively to places which provide care, such as the new nursing home that is being built. It can mean a lot to patients and residents to have enhanced imaginative and sensory experiences rather than bland institutional surroundings.