Wohnen+ Basel is registered as a Verein in Switzerland and has taken over 22 flats on a general lease in the converted former Felix Platter Hospital in the Westfeld cooperative housing estate in Basel.

Its residents share the goals of co-housing and sustainable living – with an international focus: the organisation, an active housing community, was initiated by “ex-pats” who have decided to make Basel their home after retirement. The organisation is aimed at like-minded people, “ex-pats” as well as locals aged 50+, eager to explore new, realistic, urban living options in the 21st Century.

Age Stiftung is a foundation created to address the challenges of ageing, in particular supporting older people keen to maintain their quality of life in modern and cost-effective homes in German-speaking Switzerland. The Stiftung contributed a grant totalling CHF 270,000 to Wohnen+ Basel. The furnishing and services financed by this grant are being monitored and documented between 2021 to 2024. In this way, the findings from the project will be made available to the general public.

The re-purposing of the Felix Platter-Spital hospital building is part of the neighbourhood development on Westfeld. Since mid-2019, a new, mixed-use small neighbourhood with more than 500 cooperative flats and space for commercial and neighbourhood use has been under construction on the 35,000 square metre site in Basel. The wohnen & mehr building cooperative is developing the site together with participating housing cooperatives, neighbourhood stakeholders and local and national authorities. A broad mix of flat sizes and housing types is planned, with a particular focus on family and age-appropriate living space. In recognition that community-orientated public spaces promote social interaction, outdoor areas with a variety of facilities are planned, including shops, restaurants and service companies and small businesses.

> Baugenossenschaft wohnen & mehr

> Westfeld

The remodelled Felix Platter Hospital has the graceful look of an ocean liner – little surprise that residents affectionately call it “The Schiff” (The Ship). 130 thoughtfully designed flats have been created on the nine upper floors of the original hospital building, offering a wide range of housing options. This is where Wohnen+ Basel decided to implement its co-housing concept, based on mutual support, economical use of resources and efficient flat layouts. 22 compact flats, spread over four floors, have been rented out by wohnen & mehr to W+ B.

Age Stiftung is a non-profit foundation that focuses on housing and ageing. To this end, it provides financial support for housing and personal care services in German-speaking Switzerland. It is committed to inspiring sustainable solutions. In order to promote the breadth and diversity of housing options, it invests in sustainable ventures and provides information about real-world, functioning projects.

The following principles serve as a guide to the funding programme:

Innovative content
The Age Foundation adapts to changes in the social environment and supports projects that respond to these changes in society with forward-looking and inspiring solutions. It makes the wealth of experience from sponsored projects accessible to the general public.

Focus on needs and requirements
Ageing people and their needs are at the centre of the Age Foundation’s commitment. It considers solutions that take into account the different financial, physical and cognitive resources of ageing people, protect their privacy and fulfil their interests.

The Age Foundation attaches great importance to good networking between the projects it supports and existing programmes, as well as to interdisciplinary project teams, ensuring that the views of ageing people are also take into account.

The projects should be sustainable in operation: it is expected that operational funding will be secured and that the projects developed remain viable and can be utilised over the longer term.

Gaining knowledge
The Age-Stiftung supports projects that have the potential to gain new insights and thereby further develop the field of housing and ageing.

> Age-Stiftung

The project will be comprehensively documented and monitored, and some of the content will be shared online here on an ongoing basis. richtblick AG has been commissioned with the documentation; the company also supports Wohnen+ Basel as a communications partner. Wohnen+ Basel also actively participates in the documentation: a group of association members collects impressions from everyday life among the residents – in film, sound, images and text. The association publishes its own contributions in the blog on this website. In this way, a collaborative, lively documentation of the project is created. At the end of the project, richtblick AG will produce a final documentary summarising the insights gained.

This will focus in particular on:

  • Contextualisation of the project in the context of the Westfeld/Felix Platter Hospital site, a model of a decentralised urban residential cluster.
  • Planning, realisation and initial letting processes; here, particular attention is paid to the legal and financing construct and the path to this, the further development of the…
  • Residential concept and the organisation under the housing concept and the organisation with special consideration of participatory processes.
  • Actual realisation in the first year of operation; vision of the association and day-to-day life; dynamics within the association; cooperation and collaboration.

Age-Stiftung: Comments on the approval of the 2019 funding project
Wohnen+ Basel aims to provide older, internationally-orientated people with an integration-friendly perspective for a communal, happy life in the second half of their lives. Through the wide range of activities and networking with other stakeholders on the site, added value is expected not only for the residents of Wohnen+ Basel, but also for other Westfeld residents. Wohnen+ Basel is also breaking new ground in the area of communal living, as its 22 flats, which have been taken on as a single general lease, are not arranged as a uniform cluster in the building, but rather dispersed over several floors and surrounded by other flats rented directly to the general public by the wohnen & mehr cooperative. This creates valuable learnings for the further development of new forms of housing for the elderly. An accompanying study will make this expertise available to interested parties.

Remaining time for documentation completion